|Publication number||US7445551 B1|
|Application number||US 09/722,410|
|Publication date||Nov 4, 2008|
|Filing date||Nov 28, 2000|
|Priority date||May 24, 2000|
|Also published as||US8821287, US9205326, US20090069083, US20140295965|
|Publication number||09722410, 722410, US 7445551 B1, US 7445551B1, US-B1-7445551, US7445551 B1, US7445551B1|
|Inventors||Satoru Okada, Kazuo Yoneyama, Masahiko Ota, Ryuji Umezu, Takanobu Nakashima|
|Original Assignee||Nintendo Co., Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (100), Non-Patent Citations (36), Referenced by (21), Classifications (13), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/627,440, filed Jul. 28, 2000 now abandoned, the contents of which are incorporated herein in their entirety.
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
The present invention generally relates to a portable or hand-held video game system and, more particularly, to a hand-held video game system compatible with various types of storage media.
Over the years, portable (or hand-held) game systems have been (and continue to be) very popular. Typically, these portable game systems include a hand-held game system housing a processing unit and associated hardware for running a game program, and include a display for displaying images of the game. The game program itself is typically contained in a game program memory such as, for example, a semiconductor memory (e.g., ROM, EPROM, etc.) that is part of a removable cartridge. By storing the game program in a removable cartridge, the user can conveniently and easily change the game being played by simply exchanging one cartridge with another, different cartridge containing a different game. Examples of portable game systems are the “Game Boy®” and “Game Boy® Color” products manufactured and sold by Nintendo Corporation, Ltd. Throughout this application, the “Game Boy” product is referred to as “DMG” and the “Color Game Boy” product is referred to as “CGB”.
With reference to
CPU 126 further includes a CPU core 130 that is connected to an internal read only memory (ROM) 132 and an internal random access memory (RAM) 134. Internal RAM 134 is used as a work memory of CPU core 130. CPU 126 further includes a basic oscillator 136. Basic oscillator 136 is formed of, for example, a quartz oscillator, and supplies an oscillating signal to a programmable frequency divider 138. Programmable frequency divider 138 divides the oscillating signal from basic oscillator 136 in accordance with frequency division data from CPU core 130, and supplies a divided signal as a clock of CPU core 130.
A connector 140 is connected to CPU 126 by an appropriate bus. Game cartridge 112 is selectively attachable to connector 140. Game cartridge 112 is preferably in the form of a replaceable memory cartridge insertable into game cartridge slot 118 of the CGB. Game cartridge 112 may comprise a plastic housing that encases a printed circuit board. The printed circuit board has a connector defining a number of electrical contacts. When game cartridge 112 is inserted into game cartridge slot 118 of the CGB, the cartridge electrical contacts mate with corresponding “edge connector” electrical contacts within game system 110. This action electrically connects the printed circuit board contained within the plastic housing to the electronics within game system 110. In this example, the printed circuit board of game cartridge 112 at least includes a read-only memory (ROM) 142 and a read/write memory (e.g., SRAM) 146. ROM 142 stores instructions and other information pertaining to a particular video game. The ROM for one game cartridge 112 may, for example, contain instructions and other information for an adventure game while the ROM of another game cartridge 112 may contain instructions and other information for a car race game, an educational game, etc. To play a game, a user of game system 110 need only plug the appropriate game cartridge into game cartridge slot 118 of the CGB—thereby connecting the cartridge's ROM 142 (and any other circuitry it may contain) to the CGB. This enables the CGB circuitry to access information contained within ROM 142 (and read/write memory 146), which information controls the game system to play the appropriate video game by displaying images and reproducing sound as specified under control of the ROM game program information. Read/write memory 146 is used to store data such as game backup data.
CPU 126 is supplied with operation signals from operating keys 148 a-148 e. Operating key 148 a is used, among other things, to move a game character displayed on color LCD 116 in four directions, that is, upward, downward, right and left. Operating key 148 b is a select key that is used for, for example, game mode selection and the like. Operating key 148 c is a start key that is used to start playing the game or to temporarily stop the progress of the game. Operating keys 148 d, 148 e are push-button switches. By pushing operating keys 148 d, 148 e, it is possible to cause various motions of the game characters displayed on color LCD 116, for example, a weapon use, a jump and the like. Operating keys 148 a-148 e are disposed in a forward surface of the CGB as shown in
Batteries (not shown) (e.g., 2 AA batteries) provide power for game system 110. A power indicator LED 119 (see
In accordance with the game program, character data supplied from game cartridge 112 and the controller data from operating keys 148 a-148 e, CPU 126 executes data processing and writes display data into a display RAM 152, using an extended RAM 150 when necessary. The display RAM 152 has two banks, that is, a first bank and a second bank, and has, as a whole, a storage area that is greater than the display area of color LCD 116, thereby enabling a scrolling display upward and downward and/or rightward and leftward on the screen of color LCD 116. As a result of the data processing by CPU 126, sound signals to be output are adjusted in level by volume control 154 and amplifier 156, and then outputted to a speaker 158 and/or an earphone jack 160. Sound signals output from speaker 158 and/or earphone jack 160 include game sound effects, voices and music.
Generally speaking, to use the CGB, a user selects a game cartridge 112 containing a desired video game, and inserts that game cartridge into game cartridge slot 118 of the CGB, thereby electrically connecting ROM 142 and other cartridge electronics to the CGB. The user then operates a power switch 121 (see
It is of course desirable to use new and more powerful system components (e.g., more powerful processors, faster memory, more memory, etc.) in order to improve the system capabilities and provide an even more fascinating gaming experience. However, because users may have already invested time and money into existing game systems, it is also very desirable to maintain compatibility with existing game cartridges. Thus, users upgrading to the new and more powerful game systems can continue to use game cartridges that have been purchased for use with prior generations of game systems. In addition, these users can play new games that take advantage of the improved capabilities of the game system.
The hand-held display system for playing video games described herein includes a housing grippable by a user's hands, a liquid crystal display viewable by the user gripping the housing, input devices operable by the user when the user grips the housing, and a connector for, in use, operatively connecting to portable storage media storing video game programs for the video games. The hand-held display system further includes first processing circuitry for processing video game programs having a first program specification and second processing circuitry for processing video game programs having a second program specification. In one particular example implementation, the portable storage media are in the form of cartridges housing a semiconductor memory.
This hand-held display system described above and in greater detail below affords many features and advantages including, but not limited to:
These and many other features and advantages will be better and more completely understood by referring to the following detailed description of example embodiments in conjunction with the drawings.
The AGB is powered by batteries (not shown) contained in a battery compartment accessible via a removable compartment cover 29. Power indicator 31 dims as the batteries lose power to provide a visual indication that new batteries are needed. In an alternative implementation, the AGB may also be configured for connection to an AC adapter to permit play without batteries.
To play a video game (or use some other application), the user selects an appropriate storage medium storing the video game (or application) he or she wants to play (or use), and inserts that storage medium into a slot 240 in the AGB. The storage medium may, for example, be in the form of a cartridge housing a memory that stores the game program or application. Such memory is typically semiconductor memory, although optical and magnetic memories are also usable. The user operates a power switch 25 b to turn on the AGB and cause the AGB to begin running the video game or application based on the program stored in the storage medium. Of course, it is also possible to provide some games and/or applications in on-board memory of the AGB. Such games and applications may be accessible without inserting a storage medium into slot 240.
Operating keys 33 a-33 g are used to provide inputs to the AGB. Operating keys 33 a and 33 b are used, for example, to cause various motions and actions of the game characters displayed on LCD 27 a. These motions and actions include a weapon use, a jump and the like. Operating key 33 c is used to move a game character displayed on LCD 27 a in four directions, e.g, upward, downward, right and left. Operating key 33 d is a select key that is used, for example, for game mode selection and the like. Operating key 33 e is a start key that is used to start playing a game or to temporarily stop the progress of a game. The AGB is also provided with left and right shoulder buttons 33 f and 33 g for supplying operating signals. When a player holds the AGB during game play, operating keys 33 a and 33 b are accessible by the thumb of the right hand, operating key 33 c is accessible by the thumb of the left hand, left shoulder button 33 f is accessible by the index finger of the left hand and right should button 33 g is accessible by the index finger of the right hand. In this way, a user may supply a variety of inputs to the AGB. Depending upon the particular game or application, the various operating keys 33 a-33 g can perform different functions at different times.
Other input devices may be used with the AGB. For example, if display 27 a is implemented as a touch-sensitive screen, a stylus may be used to supply inputs. Various other input devices may also be connected to the AGB via interface 43 or cartridge slot 240. For example, an infrared communication device may be connected to interface 43 to permit communication with other similarly equipped devices. A modem or network interface may be connected to the AGB via interface 43 or via cartridge slot 240 to permit connection to the Internet. A digital camera may be connected to the AGB via cartridge slot 240 to input captured images.
When a game cartridge is inserted into cartridge slot 240, the AGB automatically detects the cartridge type and switches to an appropriate operation mode. More specifically, the AGB includes a connector that, in use, is operatively connected to portable storage media (e.g., game cartridges) storing game programs or other applications. The example AGB includes first processing circuitry for processing programs having a first program specification (e.g., an 8-bit specification) and second processing circuitry for processing programs having a second program specification (e.g., 32-bit specification). The automatic detection of cartridge type may, for example, be based on a physical characteristic of the portable storage medium (e.g., shape of cartridge housing) or may be based on data stored in the portable storage medium.
While the example embodiments are described with reference to a hand-held game system, many of the concepts are applicable to other computing systems such as personal digital assistants (PDAs). For example, it may be desirable to configure a PDA to be compatible with a wide range of accessories, not all of which conform to the same specifications. By using the cartridge type detection techniques described herein and/or by providing first and second processing circuitry as described herein, the number and type of accessories that may be used with the PDA may be increased.
A security system for a hand-held game machine is disclosed in application Ser. No. 09/722,404, filed Nov. 28, 2000 (“Security System Method and Apparatus for Preventing Application Program Unauthorized Use”), the contents of which are incorporated herein.
Example Electronics of the AGB
The example AGB includes a 32-bit RISC CPU (e.g., ARM7TDMI/16.78 MHz) to provide high performance. A technical data sheet for the ARM7TDMI is available from Advanced RISC Machines Ltd. (Document No. ARM DDI 0029E). Compatibility with the CGB shown in
The example AGB includes various operating keys and provides four sounds corresponding to CGB sounds and two CPU direct sounds (PCM format). The example AGB also provides for serial communication (8 bit/32 bit, UART, multi-player, general-purpose, JOY Bus). The example AGB is equipped with a 32-pin connector for game cartridge connection. When a game cartridge is inserted, the example AGB automatically detects its type and switches to either CGB or AGB mode. As will be explained in greater detail below, the following game cartridges can be used with the example AGB:
1. DMG game cartridges, DMG/CGB dual mode game cartridges, and CGB dedicated game cartridges, and
2. AGB-dedicated game cartridges (i.e., game cartridges that only function with AGB).
AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A includes a ROM 11A and a backup RAM 11B for storing programs (such as, but not limited to, game programs) for processing by the 32-bit CPU system in the example AGB. The operating voltage for both ROM 11A and backup RAM 11B is 3.3V. CGB cartridge 100C includes a ROM 11C for storing programs (such as, but not limited to, game programs) for processing by the 8-bit CPU system in the example AGB. The operating voltage for ROM 11C is 5V. AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A and CGB cartridge 100C both include connectors conforming to 8-bit specifications.
Game system 200 includes a CPU 230, cartridge slot 240, a power-supply unit 250, and an LCD unit 270. Liquid crystal display 270 includes LCD 27 a and a regulator IC 27 b. Cartridge slot 240 is configured to accept both AGB-dedicated cartridges 100A and CGB cartridges 100C. A connector 24 is provided within cartridge slot 240 to engage with the connectors provided on AGB-dedicated cartridges 100A and CGB cartridges 100C. A cartridge shape detection switch 30 is provided to detect a difference in the shapes of the AGB-dedicated cartridges and the CGB cartridge in order to determine which of the two cartridge types is inserted into cartridge slot 240.
CPU 230 includes both an 8-bit circuit 23C for 8-bit processing of programs stored in CGB cartridges 100C, and a 32-bit circuit 23A for 32-bit processing of programs stored in AGB-dedicated cartridges 10A. CPU 230 may be viewed as a dual-processor-type unit. CPU 230 further includes an I/O buffer controller 230 a. 32-bit circuit 23A and 8-bit circuit 23C are connected to one side of I/O buffer controller 230 a and the internal components of the cartridge inserted in cartridge slot 240 are connected to the other side of I/O buffer controller 230 (via connectors 24 and 13). As such, I/O buffer controller 230 a controls input/output data buffering between these components.
CPU 230 also includes VRAM 230 b, WRAM 230 c, ROM 230 d, an LCD controller 230 e, and a peripheral circuit 230 f, all of which are connected to 32-bit circuit 23A and to 8-bit circuit 23C via a bus. Peripheral circuit 230 f carries out processing relevant to sound, DMAs, timers, I/Os, and the like. CPU 230 is also connected to operating keys 33 a-33 g, a sound amplifier 40, speaker 42, a power-supply unit 250, and LCD unit 270. CPU 230 processes the program(s) stored in a cartridge currently inserted into cartridge slot 240 in response to the user's inputs via operating keys 33 a-33 g, and then communicates outputs of the processing via LCD 27 a and speaker 42.
Power-supply unit 250 includes a power-supply 25 a, a power-supply switch 25 b, a DC-DC converter 25 c, and a voltage detection IC 25 d. Power-supply 25 a is preferably provided as one or more batteries (e.g., 2 AA disposable batteries or a rechargeable battery pack), and supplies power to DC-DC converter 25 c via power-supply switch 25 b. DC-DC converter 25 c converts the DC power supplied from power-supply 25 a to generate various DC voltages. In the example AGB, DC-DC converter 25 c generates DC voltages of −15V, 2.5V, 3.3V, 5V, and 13.6V.
Cartridge shape detection switch 30 is connected to DC-DC converter 25 c. When the cartridge inserted into cartridge slot 240 is an AGB-dedicated cartridge 10A, cartridge shape detection switch 30 selects a DC voltage of 3.3V for output to the inserted cartridge. When a CGB cartridge 100C is inserted into cartridge slot 240, cartridge shape detection switch 30 selects a DC voltage of 5V for output to the inserted cartridge.
Table I shows the memory configuration and access width.
CPU Internal Working
CPU External Working
ROM (mask ROM, Flash
RAM (SRAM, Flash
Good execution efficiency may be obtained when programs that operate from the game cartridge use 16-bit instructions (16-bit compiler), and those that operate from the CPU internal working RAM use 32-bit instructions (32-bit compiler). In CPU 230, memory addresses are preferably allocated in 8-bit increments, and little-endian format is used in implementing the 8-, 16- and 32-bit access widths. Bit lengths in this application are expressed as shown in Table II:
The relationships among cartridge shape detection switch 30, AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A, and CGB cartridge 100C are described in detail below with reference to
CPU 230 includes a switching circuit 230 s for selectively driving either 32-bit circuit 23A or 8-bit circuit 23C based on a value of a register 23A_3 supplied from a voltage detector 26 d. 32-bit circuit 23A includes an AGB boot ROM 23A_1, an AGB CPU core 23A_2, register 23A_3 and a multiplex/8-bit bus controller 23A—4. 8-bit circuit 23C includes a CGB boot ROM 23C_1, a CGB CPU core 23C_2, and an 8-bit bus controller 23C_3.
A reset circuit 50 resets CPU 230 in response to the voltage (3.3V) supplied from DC-DC converter 25 c. Cartridge shape detection circuit 30 is provided with a selector 30 s. Selector 30 s is selectively connected with either the 3.3V output terminal or the 5V output terminal provided in DC-DC converter 25 c so that the output from the selected output terminal is supplied to the cartridge inserted into cartridge slot 240. In the example AGB, selector 30 s is normally biased to be connected to the 3.3V output terminal (shown as OFF in
A method of uniquely selecting an output voltage depending on the cartridge type (i.e., AGB-dedicated cartridge 10A or CGB cartridge 100C) will now be described. Cartridge shape detection switch 30 is positioned so that if a CGB cartridge 100C is inserted into cartridge slot 240, a part of CGB cartridge 100C abuts (comes into contact with) selector 30 s. Thus, as a CGB cartridge 100C is pushed into cartridge slot 240, the part abutting selector 30 s pushes selector 30 s to the 5V output terminal. Thus, selector 30 s is no longer connected with the “normal” 3.3V output terminal, but is securely connected with the 5V output terminal and retained at this position while the CGB cartridge 100C remains in cartridge slot 240. With selector 30 s being connected to the 5V output terminal, CGB cartridge 100C is supplied with the DC output of 5V from DC-DC converter 25 c.
On the other hand, an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is shaped so as no part thereof abuts selector 30 s when it is inserted into cartridge slot 240. In this case, when an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is completely inserted into cartridge slot 240, selector 30 s remains “normally” biased and connected to the 3.3V output terminal. As a result, an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is supplied with the DC output of 3.3V from DC-DC converter 25 c.
The method of identifying the above-described cartridge 100 is described in detail with reference to
In the example shown in
It is also possible to determine cartridge type in other manners. In the above-described examples, cartridge type is identified by whether the shape of the cartridge causes a mechanical engagement of selector 30 s. However, cartridge type identification is not limited to mechanical engagement with a cartridge shape detection switch 30. For example, cartridge type identification may be carried using a photoelectric sensor system or a read switch system.
Cartridge type can also be identified using a read switch system. In this system, a magnetic substance is provided to one or the other of the AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A and the CGB cartridge 100C The magnetic substance drives a selector (30 s) of cartridge shape detection switch 30 located in cartridge slot 240 to one or the other a 3.3V or 5V voltage output terminal.
The operation of the example AGB will now be described with reference to
As is apparent from the drawing, in order to carry out the 8-bit program utilizing the sixteen address lines of pin numbers 6 to 21 (A0 to Al5) if a CGB cartridge 100C is connected, the 8-bit circuit 23C requests the ROM to output 8-bit data through pin numbers 22 to 29 (D0 to D7). On the other hand, in order to carry out the 32-bit program utilizing the twenty-four address lines of pin numbers 6 to 29 (A0 to A23) if an AGB-dedicated cartridge is connected and the AGB ROM is accessed, the 32-bit circuit 23A requests the ROM to output 16-bit data through the pin numbers 6 to 21 (D0 to D15). In this case, for the pin numbers 6 to 21, address input and data output are carried out in a time-division manner, or in a time-sharing manner. Such an operation mode is referred to as a multiplex mode. Although a data bus for 32-bit circuit 23A is 32-bits wide, an external bus is 16-bits wide. Thus, for example, when 32-bit data is to be transmitted, the data is transmitted in two 16-bit units. If an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is connected and the AGB RAM is accessed, the pins in the cartridge interface are allocated similarly to the case in which a CGB cartridge 100C is connected.
The game cartridge memory includes game cartridge ROM 11A and game cartridge RAM 11B. Three 32 MB game cartridge ROM spaces are allocated to the area beginning from 08000000h. The access speed of each of these spaces can be set separately. Thus, these spaces are designated as “Wait State 0”, “Wait State 1” and “Wait State 2”. This memory specification enables memory of varying access speeds in the game cartridge ROM to be accessed optimally. The base addresses of the three spaces are 08000000h for “Wait State 0”; 0A000000h for “Wait State 1”; and 0C000000h for “Wait State 2”. The upper 1 Mbit of each of these spaces is allocated as flash memory used primarily for saving data. The space beginning at 0E000000h is game cartridge RAM 11B (SRAM or Flash memory) storing up to 512 Kbits of data.
When 32-bit circuit 23A designates the memory space of 08000000h to 0E00000h reserved for AGB ROM 11A, memory transfer is made in the multiplex bus mode, and when 32-bit circuit 23A designates the memory space of 0E000000h to 0E00FFFFh reserved for AGB RAM 11B, memory transfer is made in a normal bus mode.
Although the 32 MB game cartridge memory space is mapped to the area from 08000000h onward, the 32 MB spaces beginning from 0A000000h and 0C000000h are images of the 32 MB space that starts at 08000000h. These images enable memory to be used according to the access speed of the game cartridge memory (1-4 wait cycles).
WSCNT [d15] (Game Cartridge Type Flag) is used by the system ROM.
WSCNT [d14] (Pre-fetch Buffer Flag)—when the pre-fetch buffer flag is enabled (set to 1) and there is some free space, the pre-fetch buffer takes control of the game cartridge bus when the CPU is not using it, and repeatedly reads game cartridge ROM data. When the CPU tries to read instructions from the game cartridge and it hits the pre-fetch buffer, the fetch is completed with no wait with respect to the CPU. If there is no hit, the fetch is done from the game cartridge ROM and there is a wait based on the set wait state. If the pre-fetch buffer flag is disabled (set to 0), the fetch is done from the game cartridge ROM. There is a wait with respect to the CPU based on the wait state associated with the fetch instruction to the game cartridge ROM.
WSCNT [d12-11] (PHI Terminal Output Control) controls the output from the PHI terminal (see
WSCNT [d10-08],[d07-05],[d04-02] (Wait State Wait Control) sets the individual wait cycles for each of the three areas (Wait States 0-2) that occur in game cartridge ROM. The relation between the wait control settings and wait cycles is shown in Table III:
TABLE III Wait Cycles 1st 2nd Access Wait Control Value Access Wait State 0 Wait State 1 Wait State 2 000 4 2 4 8 001 3 2 4 8 010 2 2 4 8 011 8 2 4 8 100 4 1 1 1 101 3 1 1 1 110 2 1 1 1 111 8 1 1 1
In the example AGB, the wait control value is set to 101 (1st access/3 Wait and 2ns access/1 Wait).
WSCNT [d01-00] (Game Cartridge RAM Wait Control) sets the wait cycles for the game cartridge RAM. The relation between the wait control settings and wait cycles is shown in Table IV:
Wait Control Value
The read/write access operations in the AGB ROM 11A, AGB RAM 11B, and CGB ROM 11C will now be described with reference to the timing charts of
Sequential access occurs when addresses are sequentially read for memory contents. Thus, when the addresses are sequential, the CPU has no need to output any address, and the memory addresses can be counted up using only a control signal (RDB). That is, data can be read faster because no time is taken for outputting addresses. Alternatively, program data may be sequentially read in advance so as to smoothly activate the program.
Random access occurs when addresses are non-sequentially read for memory contents. Thus, an address must be input every time memory is read, and reading data therefore takes time. As such, in AGB ROM 11A, random access control and sequential control are both applied.
A multiplexed bus reduces the number of pins needed for an interface bus because one or more pins are used for both addresses and data. Therefore, data output cannot be done without address input, and consequently access speed takes longer than a normal bus. This problem can be addressed if the above-described sequential-access control is applied. To carry out sequential-access control, however, the memory side must be provided with a special circuit (address counter) to be described below.
A multiplex conversion circuit including an address counter to enable sequential access will be described with reference to
In a multiplex bus converter MBC structured as in
The operation of the example AGB will be described with reference to
If cartridge shape detection switch 30 is ON when the cartridge is completely inserted into cartridge slot 240, the operation proceeds from step S5 to step S10. At step S10, the cartridge is already inserted into cartridge slot 240. Thus, DC-DC converter 25 c supplies, via cartridge shape detection switch 30, a DC voltage of 5V to the cartridge, to I/O buffer controller 230 a in CPU 230, and to voltage detection IC 25 d. At step S12, voltage detection IC 25 d detects the DC voltage of 5V supplied via cartridge shape detection switch 30, and then outputs to register 23A_3 a low-level (level 0) signal to indicate that a CGB cartridge 100C is engaged. Then, the operation proceeds to step S14.
At step S14, in response to voltage input (3.3V) from DC-DC converter 25 c, reset circuit 50 clears the reset of CPU 230. The operation proceeds to step S16 at which AGB CPU core 23A_2 in CPU 230 is activated and the boot code in AGB boot ROM 23_1 is started. The operation proceeds to step S18 where AGB CPU core 23A_2 reads register 23A_3 to determine whether the value written therein is 1 or 0. If the value is 1 (i.e., an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is inserted in cartridge slot 240), the operation proceeds to step S20. At step S20, the processing of the boot code in AGB boot ROM 23A_1 continues. Then, the operation proceeds to step S22 where AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is accessed using the multiplex bus interface. At step S24, based on the data read out at step S22, a 32-bit game stored in AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A is started.
If at step S18, the value in register 23A_3 is 0 (i.e., a CGB cartridge 100C is inserted in cartridge slot 240), the operation proceeds to step S26 where switching circuit 230 s is activated. The operation then proceeds to step S28 where, in accordance with switching circuit 230 s, AGB CPU core 23A_2 is stopped and CGB CPU core 23C_2 is activated. The operation then proceeds to step S30 where CGB CPU core 23C_2 executes the processing described in CGB boot ROM 23C_1. The operation then proceeds to step S32 where the memory in CGB cartridge 100C is accessed through a general-purpose bus interface. Memory access by the general-purpose interface is described above with reference to
In the example embodiment, as already described, the cartridge type inserted into cartridge slot 240 is identified for switching between a bus mode for AGB ROM 11A and for CGB ROM 11C. In an alternative embodiment, the bus mode may be switched depending on a value of the reading address from the CPU.
In the above-described flowchart, the operations in steps S2 to S14 are executed by providing notch 100 n for an AGB-dedicated cartridge 10A, and by placing selector 30 s of cartridge shape detection switch 30 in such manner as to be accommodated in notch 100 n, and as to be connected, as the normal position, to the 3.3V output terminal of DC-DC converter 25 c. Then, the steps S16 to S34 are carried out by components provided in CPU 230. The output from voltage detection IC 25 d in steps S8 and S12 determines which results follow after the processing at step S12. Thus, it is determined, based on the presence or absence of notch 100 n in the cartridge, whether the multiplex bus interface is used for access at step S22 or the general-purpose bus interface is used for access at step S32. Thus, notch 100 n provided in the cartridge functions as a bus mode selector.
The structure of the AGB ROM 11A will now be described with reference to
Other examples of the cartridge type identification mechanisms will now be described with reference to
An example of discriminating between an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A and a CGB cartridge 100C using an identification code will now be described with reference to
AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Ar includes an identification code region 100 nA provided in the 3.3V interface memory 11. Region 100 nA stores an identification code representing the cartridge type. Like cartridge shape detection switch 30 in the AGB, voltage selector 60 is a switch for selecting an output from DC-DC converter 25 c. However, voltage selector 60 operates electronically rather than mechanically. Because of this difference, AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Ar does not require and does not include the voltage detector 26 d or the register 23A_3 that are included in AGB-dedicated cartridge 100A. For the purpose of discriminating from the CPU 230 shown in
The operation for identifying cartridge type using the identification code in the AGBr will now be described. When the AGBr is turned on, a voltage of 3.3V is supplied to the cartridge. Then, AGB CPU core 23A_2 is activated. AGB CPU core 23A_2 is operable to attempt to read an identification code from a specific region in memory provided in the cartridge inserted into cartridge slot 240. If the code is read successfully read and if the code identifies an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Ar, AGB CPU core 23A_2 keeps working. If identification code does not identify an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Ar, or if the attempt to read the identification code fails, AGB CPU core 23A_2 identifies the inserted cartridge as a CGB cartridge 100. In this case, 32-bit circuit 32A controls voltage selector 60 to select 5V. AGB CPU core 23A_2 then starts switching circuit 230 s. Switching circuit 230 s stops AGB CPU core 23A2, and starts CGB CPU core 23C_2.
The operation of the example AGBr will now be described with reference to the flowchart shown in
The operation then proceeds to step S118. At step S118, the cartridge type is determined based on the identification code read in step S116. In this example, it is determined whether the inserted cartridge is an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar. If it is determined that the inserted cartridge is an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar, the operation proceeds to the above-described steps S20, 522, and S24 which are explained above with reference to
If it is determined at S118 that the inserted cartridge is not an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar (e.g., the inserted cartridge is a CGB cartridge 100C), the operation proceeds to step S120. At step S120, voltage selector 60 selects 5V instead of 3.3V. Then, the operation proceeds to the above-described steps S26, S28, S30, S32, and S34 which are explained above with reference to
The operations of steps S116 and S118 will now be described in greater detail. As one example, assume the cartridge inserted into cartridge slot 240 of the AGBr is an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar having an AGBBr identification code stored therein. If an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar is inserted, the above-described operations are performed. If a CGB cartridge 100C is inserted, however, it cannot be normally accessed at step S116. This is because the voltage supplied to the cartridge in step S6 is 3.3V. In any event, even if the CGB cartridge is successfully accessed, it has no identification code region 100 nA. As a result, at step S116, no identification code for an AGBr-dedicated cartridge 100Ar is read out; thus it is determined that a CGB cartridge 100Cr is inserted.
The AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Ar and the CGB cartridge 100Cr may be driven by the same voltage level (e.g., 3.3V), and may each be provided with memory that is accessible by common bus control (e.g., separate bus control) so as to store the identification code only. If so, AGB CPU core 23A_2 becomes accessible to the memory regardless of the cartridge type, and can correctly read the identification code from the identification code region 100 nA or an identification code region 100 nC.
A method for identifying the cartridge type using a signal-line short will be described with reference to
In the AGBrr, the signal lines W are not shorted when a CGB cartridge 100C is inserted into cartridge slot 240. However, when an AGB-dedicated cartridge 100Arr is inserted into cartridge slot 240, the two signal lines W are shorted by the short. Detection of the shorting of the two signal lines W enables the AGBrr to identify the cartridge type. Based on whether the signal lines W are shorted or not, voltage selector 60 selects either 3.3V or 5V.
The operation of the AGBrr for identifying cartridge type based on the shorting of signal lines W is similar to the operation for identifying cartridge type using identification codes. In the AGBrr, AGB CPU 23A_2 detects the shorting of the signal lines instead of reading the identification code. Because only the short is detected, it is possible to correctly detect the short even when the supplied voltage is 3.3V.
The operation of the AGBrr will be described with reference to the flowchart shown in
Example Liquid Crystal Display
The liquid crystal display of the example AGB is shown in
Number of dots per
Number of horizontal
Total number of
Number of dots per
Number of horizontal
Number of dots per
Number of horizontal
lines per vertical blank
H interval frequency
V interval frequency
The example AGB may display images in widescreen format (e.g., 240×160) or in non-widescreen format (e.g., 160×140). The non-widescreen format includes borders around the displayed images and may be used, for example, to display CGB games developed for the CGB. It is also possible to provide a switching capability so that games (e.g., CGB games) may be selectively displayed in either the widescreen or non-widescreen format. The switching from one format to another may be accomplished using one of the shoulder buttons (e.g., button 33 g).
Liquid Crystal Display Status
The VCOUNT register shown in
General LCD Status
The DSIPSTAT register shown in
DISPSTAT [d15-08] (V Count Setting) can be used to set the value used for V counter evaluation and V counter match interrupts. The range for this setting is 0-227.
DISPSTAT [d05] (V Counter Match Interrupt Request Enable Flag) allows an interrupt request to be generated when the value of the V counter setting and the value of the line actually rendered (VCOUNT register value) agree.
DISPSTAT [d04] (H-Blank Interrupt Request Enable Flag) allows an interrupt request to be generated during horizontal blanking.
DISPSTAT [d03] (V-Blank Interrupt Request Enable Flag) allows an interrupt to be generated during vertical blanking.
DISPSTAT [d02] (V Counter Evaluation) is a flag that indicates whether the V count setting and the V count register value match. It is set while they match and automatically reset when they no longer match.
DISPSTAT [d01] (H-Blank Status) can check whether a horizontal blanking interval is currently in effect.
DISPSTAT [d00] (V-Blank Status) can check whether a vertical blanking interval is currently in effect.
Example Image System
The example AGB can use different image systems depending on the purpose of the software. These display-related items are changed mainly using the DISPCNT register shown in
DISPCNT [d15] (OBJ Window Display Flag) is a master flag that controls whether the OBJ window is displayed. The object window is described in greater detail below.
DISPCNT [d14], [d13] (Display Flags for Windows 0 and 1) are master flags that control whether windows 0 and 1 are displayed. The window feature is described in greater detail below.
DISPCNT [d12-08] (Individual Screens Display Flags) allows individual control of whether OBJ, BG3, BG2, BG1 and BG0, respectively, are displayed.
DISPCNT [d07] (Forced Blank)—setting this bit causes the CPU to forcibly halt operation of the image processing circuit, allowing access to VRAM, color palette RAM, OAM, and the internal registers. The LCD screen displays white during a forced blank. However, the internal HV synchronous counter continues to operate even during a forced blank. When the internal HV synchronous counter cancels a forced blank during a display period, the display begins from the beginning, following the display of three vertical lines.
DISPCNT [d06] (OBJ Character VRAM Mapping Format) specifies the VRAM mapping format for an OBJ character. A setting of 0 causes the OBJ character to be handled in memory mapped 2-dimensional format. A setting of 1 causes the OBJ character to be handled in memory mapped 1-dimensional format. The OBJ character VRAM mapping formats will be explained in greater detail below.
DISPCNT [d05] (H-Blank Interval OBJ Processing Flag) is set to 0 to execute OBJ render processing of all H-Line intervals (including H-Blank intervals). A setting of 1 executes OBJ render processing of the display intervals only and not for H-blank intervals. Thus, when the user accesses OAM or OBJ VRAM during an H-blank interval, this bit needs to be set. However, maximum OBJ display performance cannot be obtained in this situation.
DISPCNT [d04] (Display Frame Selection) allows selection of one of the frame buffers for rendering when rendering in bitmap format in a mode in which there are 2 frame buffers (BG modes 4 and 5). A setting of 0 selects the contents of frame buffer 0 for rendering; a setting of 1 selects the contents of frame buffer 1 for rendering.
DISPCNT [d03] (CGB Mode) is controlled by the system and is not typically accessible. As discussed above, the example AGB is equipped with 2 CPUs. In AGB mode, a 32-bit RISC CPU starts, and in CGB mode, an 8-bit CISC CPU starts.
DISPCNT [d02-00] (BG Mode) selects the BG mode from a range of 0-5. BG modes are (explained in greater detail below.
Details of BG Modes
In the example AGB, changing the BG mode allows character format and bitmap format to be used selectively, as appropriate. In BG modes 0, 1 and 2, rendering to the LCD screen is performed in a character format suitable for the game. In BG modes 3, 4 and 5, rendering the LCD screen is performed in bitmap format.
In BG mode 3, one frame memory is available that can display 32,768 colors, which is suitable for rendering still images. BG modes 4 and 5 allow double buffering using two frame memories, and are thus suited for rendering animated video. The method of controlling text BG scrolling is different from that of BG rotation/scaling and bitmap BG scrolling. This is discussed in greater detail below.
VRAM Memory Maps
The VRAM (96 Kbyte) memory maps in the various BG modes are shown in
Example Rendering Functions
The example AGB CPU has 96 Kbytes of built-in VRAM. Its rendering functions include BG and OBJ display capability. The method used for BG rendering varies with the BG mode as will now be described.
Character Mode BG (BG modes 1 and 2)
In character mode, the components of the BG screen are basic characters of 8×8 dots.
There are four BG control registers (registers BG0CNT, BG1CNT, BG2CNT and BG3CNT), corresponding to the maximum number of BG screens. Registers BG0CNT and BG1CNT are exclusively for text BG control, while BG2CNT and BG3CNT also support BG rotation and scaling control. The registers used by the BG modes are set forth in Table VI:
BG Control Register
The contents of the BG control registers are discussed below with reference to
With reference to
256 × 256
128 × 128
512 × 256
256 × 256
256 × 512
512 × 512
512 × 512
1024 × 1024
BG2CNT, BG3CNT [d13] (Area Overflow Processing) can be used to choose whether the area of the screen into which an overflow occurs is displayed as transparent or wraps around the display screen when the display screen overflows the boundaries of the virtual screen due to a rotation/scaling operation.
BG*CNT [d12-08] (Screen Base Block Specification) specify the starting block in VRAM at which screen data are stored (32 steps: 0-31; 2-Kbyte increments).
BG*CNT [d07] (Color Mode) specifies whether to reference BG character data in 16 colors×16 palettes format or 256 colors×1 palette format.
BG*CNT [d06] (Mosaic) turns BG mosaic processing on and off.
BG*CNT [d03-02] (Character Base Block Specification) specify the starting block in VRAM at which the character data to be displayed in the BG is stored (4 steps: 0-3; 16-Kbyte increments).
BG*CNT [d01-00] (Priority Among BGs) specifies the priority of BG0, BG1, BG2 and BG3. With the default value (same priority value specified for all), the order of priority is BG0, BG1, BG2, and BG3. However, this order can be changed to any desired order. Values of 0 (highest priority) to 3 can be specified. When the BG priority has been changed, care should be taken in specifying the pixels used for color special effects.
Mosaic size is set in the MOSAIC register shown in
VRAM Mapping Address of BG Data
The starting BG data (BG character and screen data) are stored in the 64-Kbyte BG area of VRAM.
BG Character Data
The starting address for referencing BG character data can be specified using the character base block specification of the BG control register. The amount of data depends on the number of character data items stored and the data format (color formats: 256 colors×1 palette or 16 colors×16 palettes).
BG Screen Data
The starting address for referencing BG screen data can be set using the screen base block specification of the BG control register. The amount of data depends on the type of BG screen (text or rotation/scaling) and the screen size. These can be set by the BG control register.
Character Data Format
There are two formats for character dot data: 16 colors×16 palettes and 256 colors×1 palette. The same format is used for OBJ and BG. The data is held in VRAM in the form indicated in
16 Colors×16 Palettes
With reference to
256 Colors×1 Palette
With reference to
BG Screen Data Format
A BG screen is considered to be the 8×8 dot unit that represents the size of the basic character, and the BG screen data specifies the characters that are arranged. BG screen data should be stored beginning at the starting address of the BG screen base block specified in the BG control register. The number of screen data items specified per BG depends on the screen size setting in the BG control register. BG screen data for text and rotation/scaling screens are specified in the formats described below.
Text BG Screen
With reference to
[d15-12] (Color Palette) of the screen data specify the palette to be applied to the character. Specifically, if the color mode specification in the BG control register is 16 colors×16 palettes, bits [d15-12] specify palette 0-15 as the palette to be applied to the character. This is disabled when the color mode specification is 256×1 palette.
[d11] (Vertical Flip Flag) of the screen data enables the BG character to be flipped vertically. A setting of 1 produces the vertical-flip display.
[d10] (Horizontal Flip Flag) of the screen data enables the BG character to be flipped horizontally. A setting of 1 produces the horizontal-flip display.
[d09-00] (Character Name) of the screen data specify the number of the character that has the character base block starting address specified in the BG control register as its starting point.
Rotation/Scaling BG Screen
With reference to
The example AGB provides a high degree of freedom in using the BG area of VRAM. Consequently, VRAM should be managed with the following points in mind:
1. There are 2 formats for BG character data (defined by 16 and 256 colors), and these can be used together.
2. The BG character data base block can be selected from among 4 blocks (BG control register).
3. The BG screen data base block can be selected from among 32 blocks (BG control register).
4. The screen size (amount of VRAM used) can be set for each BG (BG control register).
5. Text and rotation/scaling BGs can be present and used together in a BG screen.
In managing VRAM, particular care is required in BG mode 1, because text BG screens (which can handle BG character data in both 256 colors×1 palette and 16 colors×16 palettes) and rotation/scaling BG screens (which can handle only 256 colors×1 palette) may be used together.
BG Screen Data Address Mapping for the LCD Screen
BG Rotation and Scaling Features
Rotation and scaling of the BG as a whole can be performed in a rotation/scaling BG screen. With rotation, BG data is referenced as shown in
x 2 =A(x 1 −x 0)+B(y 1 −y 0)+x 0
y 2 =C(x 1 −x 0)+D(y 1 −y 0)+y 0
Parameters used in rotation and scaling operations are specified for BG2 and BG3 in the registers shown in
The operations used in BG rotation/scaling processing are:
1. Using software, the results of the rotation/scaling operation for the left-upper coordinate of the display screen are determined and this is set as the starting point of the BG data reference in registers BG2X_L, BG2X_H, BG2Y_L, BG2Y_H, BG3X_L, BG3X_H, BG3Y_L, and BG3Y_H shown in
2. The image processing circuit sums the increases in the x direction (dx, dy) in relation to the BG data reference starting point set in the above registers, and calculates the x-coordinate.
3. When the line is advanced, the increases in the y direction (dmx, dmy) are summed in relation to the reference starting point, and the coordinate of the rendering starting point for the next line is calculated. The processing in step 2) is then performed.
4. If a register for the BG data reference starting point is rewritten during an H-blanking interval, the y-direction summation for that register is not calculated. The CPU uses this mode to change the center coordinate and the rotation/scaling parameters for each line.
Area Overflow Processing
When the display screen overflows the boundaries of the virtual screen due to a rotation/scaling operation, this BG control register can be used to select whether the area of the screen into which the overflow occurs is transparent or wraps around the display screen. See
For each text BG screen, the offset on the display screen can be specified in 1-dot increments. The offset register is only valid for Text BG. In order to offset display scaling/rotation BG and bitmap mode BG, the BG reference starting point is set. The offset setting registers BG*HOFS and BG*VOFS are shown in
Bitmap Mode BGs (BG Modes 3-5)
In the bitmap modes, the components of the BG screen are handled in pixel units, and the contents of VRAM (frame buffer) are displayed as color data for each dot on the screen.
The bitmap BG will be assumed to be BG2. Therefore, in order to display the content of the frame buffer on the LCD screen, the BG2 display flag is set to ON in the DISPCNT Register (see
BG2CNT [d06] (Mosaic) controls the ON/OFF of mosaic processing for BG2. When ON, the settings for the Mosaic Size Register, MOSAIC, are referenced (see
BG2CNT [d01-00] (Priority Among BGs) set priority among BGs. Because in bitmap mode there is only one BG plane (other than the backdrop plane), there is no priority relationship among BGs, but priorities can be set up with OBJs.
The parameters for Bitmap BG Rotation/Scaling use BG2 related registers (BG2X_L, BG2X_H, BG2Y_L, BG2Y_H, BG2PA, BG2PB, BG2PC, and BG2PD). With Bitmap BG, if the displayed portion exceeds the edges of the screen due to the rotation/scaling operation, that area becomes transparent.
In the bitmap modes, only the amount of pixel data corresponding to the size of the display screen can be stored in VRAM. Available bitmap modes allow the simultaneous display of 32,768 colors (BG modes 3 and 5) and the display of 256 of the 32,768 colors (BG mode 4). The format of the data in the frame buffer differs between the modes as described below.
1. 32,768-Color Simultaneous Display Format (BG Modes 3 and 5)—Palette RAM is not referenced and each pixel uses a half-word as shown in
2. 256-Color (of 32,768) Display Format (BG Mode 4)—Palette RAM color data (256 of the 32,768 colors storable) are referenced and each pixel uses 1 byte as shown in
Pixel Data Address Mapping for the LCD Screen
The different address mappings for the different BG modes are described below with reference to
Because there is a single frame buffer, this mode is used mainly for still images. However, it enables 32,768 colors to be displayed simultaneously over the full screen. The address mapping for this BG mode is shown in
Two frame buffers are allocated in VRAM, making this mode suitable for full-motion video. Of the total of 32,768 colors, 256 can be displayed simultaneously over the full screen. The address mapping for this mode is shown in
Although there are 2 frame buffers, the display area is limited in this mode to enable simultaneous display of 32,768 colors. The address mapping for this mode is shown in
OBJ Function Overview
Objects are in character format regardless of the BG mode. However, the number of basic characters that can be defined varies depending on the BG mode as illustrated with reference to Table VIII.
Number of display
16 colors/16 palettes or 256 colors/1 palette
(mixed display possible)
Number of characters
1024 (16 colors × 16 palettes): in BG modes 0-2
(8 × 8 dots)
512 (256 colors × 1 palette): in BG modes 0-2
512 (16 colors × 16 palettes): in BG modes 3-5
256 (256 colors × 1 palette): in BG modes 3-5
8 × 8 - 64 × 64 dots (12 types)
Max. number per
128 (64 × 64 dot conversion)
Max. number per line
128 (8 × 8 dot conversion)
Color special effects
HV flip, semi-transparency, mosaic, priority
specification, OBJ windows
The single-line OBJ display capability shown in Table VIII is the capability at maximum efficiency. When the displayed OBJ are arranged continuously from the start of OAM, the OBJ display capability on a single line can be calculated using the following formula:
(Number of H Dots×4−6)/Number of Rendering Cycles=
OBJ Displayable on a single line (Max. of 128)
The “Number of H Dots” is usually 308 dots, but when the H-Blank Interval OBJ Processing Flag for Register DISPCNT is set to 1, there are 240 dots. “×4” expresses the number of cycles that the OBJ Rendering Circuit can use per one dot. “−6” represents the number of cycles needed for processing before OBJ rendering at the start of the H Line. The “Number of Rendering Cycles” and the corresponding number of OBJ displayable for a single line is expressed in Table IX.
TABLE IX Number of Number of OBJ displayable Rendering Cycles on single line Normal Rotation/Scaling Normal Rotation/Scaling OBJ H Size OBJ OBJ OBJ OBJ 8 8 26 128 47 16 16 42 76 29 32 32 74 38 16 64 64 138 19 8 128 (double the X 266 X 4 size of 64)
If the number for non-displayed (outside of the screen) OBJ in the OAM is lower than that for displayed OBJ, the bigger the non-displayed OBJ's size is, the less efficient the rendering will be.
Character Data Mapping
With OBJ character data, the basic character is 8×8 dots, and characters between 8×8 and 64×64 dots can be handled (total of 12 types). The base address of OBJ character data is a fixed VRAM base address. The OBJ character data capacity allocated is either 32 Kbytes or 16 Kbytes, depending on the BG mode. There are 2 types of mapping to the character area, and they can be specified in bit [d06] of the DISPCNT register (see
Setting the DISPCNT register bit [d06] to 0 results in the 2-dimensional mapping mode shown in
Setting the DISPCNT register bit [d06] to 1 results in the 1-dimensional mapping mode shown in
OBJs are displayed by placing data in OAM. OBJ data for 128 OBJs can be written to internal CPU OAM (addresses 07000000h-070003FFh), and 128 OBJ characters of an arbitrary size can be displayed on the LCD.
OBJ attributes occupying 48 bits×128 OBJs can be written to OAM. In addition, when rotation/scaling are performed for an OBJ, a total of 32 instances of rotation/scaling parameter combinations (PA, PB, PC, and PD) can be written to OAM, as shown in
The OBJ Attribute registers are shown in
[d13] (Color Mode Flag) specifies whether the OBJ data format is 16 colors×16 palettes mode or 256 colors×1 palette mode.
[d12] (OBJ Mosaic Flag) turns mosaic for OBJs on and off.
[d11-10] (OBJ Mode) specify whether an OBJ is a normal OBJ or a semitransparent OBJ. A normal OBJ is specified by 00, a semi-transparent OBJ by 01, and an OBJ window by 10. In the example AGB, [d11-10]=11 is prohibited. When a semi-transparent OBJ is specified, color special effects processing can be performed. The color special effects are described below. OBJs for which an OBJ window specification is used are not displayed as normal OBJs—dots with non-zero character data are used as the OBJ window.
[d09] (Rotation/Scaling Double-Size Flag)—OBJs are limited in size by the OBJ field (8×8−64×64 dots), and the character data may surpass the boundaries of this field when rotated. This problem can be avoided by implementing a pseudo double-size for the OBJ field, by setting the double-size flag to 1. With this setting, the OBJ does not surpass the boundaries of the OBJ field even if the OBJ display is magnified by up to two-fold. By way of example with reference to
[d08] (Rotation/Scaling Flag) allows rotation processing for the OBJ to be enabled and disabled. With the OBJ rotation/scaling feature enabled by setting this bit to 1, the maximum number of OBJs displayed per line is decreased.
[d07-00] (Y-coordinate) allows the y-coordinate of the OBJ in the display screen to be specified.
The OBJ Attribute 1 register is shown in
[d15-14] (OBJ Size)—linked to the specification of the OBJ size for Attribute 0, the size for the OBJ Character is also specified. For each of the three OBJ shapes, four sizes can be set as shown in
[d13] [d12] (Vertical and Horizontal Flip Flags) allow the OBJ to be flipped horizontally and vertically, respectively. A normal display is produced by a setting of 0 and a flip display is produced by a setting of 1. When the rotation/scaling flag ([d08] of OBJ Attribute 0) is enabled, bits [d13] [d12] can also be used as the high-order bits of the rotation/scaling parameter selection.
[d13-09] (Rotation/Scaling Parameter Selection)—the parameters used in OBJ rotation/scaling processing are selected from the 32 parameters registered in OAM.
[d08-00] (X-Coordinate) specifies the x-coordinate of the OBJ on the display screen.
The OBJ Attribute 2 register is shown in
[d15-12] (Color Palette No.) designate the color palette number. When 16 colors×16 palettes format is specified in the color mode bit, these bits specify 1 of the 16 palettes to apply to the character data. When 256 colors×1 palette format is specified in the color mode bit, these bits are disabled.
[d11-10] (Priority Relative to BG) specify the display priority of the OBJ relative to BG. Display priority of OBJ and BG will be described below.
[d09-00] (Character Name) writes the number of the basic character located at the start of the OBJ character data mapped in VRAM.
Allows selection of 1,024 characters.
Allows selection of 512 characters.
Bit 0 fixed at 0 in 2-dimensional mapping mode.
OBJ character data RAM is halved to 16 KB, so character name numbers 0-511 are disabled and numbers 512 and greater are used.
OBJ Rotation/Scaling Feature
The rotation and scaling feature for OBJ is essentially the same as that for BG. With reference to
The following operations are used in OBJ Rotation/Scaling Processing:
1. Specify the rotation/scaling parameter number to be applied in OBJ Attribute 1 of the OAM.
2. The image-processing circuit sums the increases in the x direction (dx, dy) in relation to the center of rotation (OBJ field center), which serves as reference point, to calculate the x-direction coordinates.
3. When the line is advanced, the increases in the y-direction (dmx, dmy) in relation to the reference point are summed to calculate the coordinate of the starting point for rendering the next line. The processing in step 2) above, is then performed.
The rotation/scaling parameters are illustrated in
Display Priority of OBJ and BG
Priority Among BGs
Priority among BGs can be set to any of a plurality of levels. In the example AGB, priority among BGs can be set to any one of four levels. When BGs have the same priority setting, the BG with the lowest BG number is given priority.
Priority Among OBJs
Priority among OBJs can be set to any of a plurality of levels. In the example AGB, priority among OBJs can be set to any one of four levels. When OBJs have the same priority setting, the OBJ with the lowest OBJ number is given priority.
Priority Among BGs and OBJs
The priority of each OBJ in relation to the BG can be set to a plurality of levels. As shown in
Color Palette Overview
The LCD unit of the example AGB can display 32 levels of red, 32 levels of green, and 32 levels of blue, for a total of 32,768 colors. The number of colors that can be displayed at once varies with the BG mode. Color palettes are used in defining character-format BGs and OBJs. As noted above, bitmap-format BG modes 3 and 5 are not palette formats. Color palettes come in the following two forms:
1. 16 Colors×16 Palettes
This mode provides 16 color palettes, each consisting of 16 colors. Color 0 for OBJ and BG palettes is forcibly allocated to transparent (color specification disabled).
2. 256 Colors×1 Palette
This mode allocates all 256 of its colors to 1 palette. Color data are represented by 15 bits (5 for Red, 5 for Green, and 5 for Blue). Colors can be selected from the total of 32,768. OBJ color 0 and BG color 0 are forcibly allocated to transparent (color specification disabled).
Color 0 Transparency
Color 0 transparency is used to render the pixels of low-priority OBJs or BGs as transparent. The color specified for color 0 of BG palette 0 is applied to the backdrop, which has the lowest priority.
Color Palette RAM
OBJs and BGs use separate palettes. The size of palette RAM is large enough (512 bytes) to hold data (16-bit) for up to 256 colors (of 32,768) that can be specified. The memory map of the OBJ and BG palettes is shown
Either of 2 modes (16 colors×16 palettes and 256 colors×1 palette) can be selected for OBJ and BG. Palette RAM for these modes is referenced as shown in
Color Data Format
The color data format is shown in
The example AGB can display multiple windows simultaneously. In the example AGB described herein, two windows can be displayed simultaneously. Display of the areas inside and outside the windows can be separately turned on and off. In addition, scrolling and color special effects such as rotation, alpha blending, and fade-in/fade-out can be performed for each window.
Window Position Setting
The window position setting specifies the upper-left and lower-right coordinates of a rectangular area. These settings specify the window's position and size. When a non-rectangular window is displayed, the values of these registers are updated during H-blanking intervals.
The window control registers control operations such as turning window display on and off. However, the master window display flag of the DISPCNT register has a higher priority than the WININ and WINOUT registers. The DISPCNT register is discussed above with reference to
Control of Inside of Window
The WININ register shown in
Control of Outside of Window and Inside of OBJ Window
The WINOUT register shown in
The register contents are now described.
WININ [d12-08][d04-00], WINOUT[d12-08][d04-00] (Display Flags) turn display of the OBJ and BG 3-0 on and off. A setting of 0 turns the corresponding display off, and a setting of 1 turns the corresponding display on.
WININ [d13][d05], WINOUT[d13][d05] (Color Special Effects Flags) enable/disable color special effects. Specifically, a setting of 0 disables color special effects and a setting of 1 enables special effects. Color special effects will be described below.
Color Special Effects
The AGB provides the following color special effects. The area in which these effects are applied can be limited using a window.
1. Alpha Blending—this effect performs arithmetic operations on two selected surfaces and implements processing for 16 levels of semi-transparency.
2. Fade-in/Fade-out—this effect performs arithmetic operations on one selected surface and implements processing for 16 levels of brightness.
Selection of Color Special Effects
The types of color special effects and the target pixels, are determined by the BLDM0D register shown in
Color Special Effects Processing
No special effects
Normally, color special effects
processing is not performed.
processing (alpha blending) is
performed only when a semi-
transparent OBJ is present and is
followed immediately by a
second target screen.
Alpha blending (semi-
If the first target screen is
followed immediately by a
second target screen, 16-level
(alpha blending) is performed.
The bits of the backdrop of the
first target screen should be
turned off ([d05] = 0).
When OBJ = 1 for the first
target pixel, processing is
executed for all OBJs regardless
of OBJ type. When OBJ = 0,
processing is executed only if
the OBJ is semi-transparent.
Gradually increases brightness
for first target screen. The entire
screen can gradually be made
whiter by setting all bits of the
specification for the first target
screen to 1. When OBJ = 1 for
the first target screen, processing
for increased brightness is
executed only for normal
objects. If a semi-transparent
OBJ is the first target screen,
alpha blending processing is
Brightness is gradually
decreased for the first target
screen. The entire screen can
gradually be made blacker by
setting all bits of the
specification for the first target
screen to 1. When OBJ = 1 for
the first target screen, processing
for decreased brightness is
performed only for normal
objects. If a semi-transparent
OBJ is the first target screen,
alpha blending processing is
Color Special Effects Processing
Coefficients for Color Special Effects
The coefficients used in alpha blending processing are specified in EVA and EVB of the COLEV register shown in
The color special effects arithmetic expressions that use the coefficients are shown below.
1. Alpha Blending (16 levels of semi-transparency) Operations
Display color (R)=1st pixel color (R)×EVA+2nd pixel color (R)×EVB
Display color (G)=1st pixel color (G)×EVA+2nd pixel color (G)×EVB
Display color (B)=1st pixel color (B)×EVA+2nd pixel color (B)×EVB
2. Brightness Increase Operations
Display color (R)=1st pixel (R)+(31−1st pixel (R))×EVY
Display color (G)=1st pixel (G)+(63−1st pixel (G))×EVY
Display color (B)=1st pixel (B)+(31−1st pixel (B))×EVY
3. Brightness Decrease Operations
Display color (R)=1st pixel (R)−1st pixel (R)×EVY
Display color (G)=1st pixel (G)−1st pixel (G)×EVY
Display color (B)=1st pixel (B)−1st pixel (B)×EVY
Macro-based, programmable MIDI and sound effects playback may be provided using the Factor 5 MusyX Audio Tool. The MusyX Audio Tool includes a certified Dolby™ Surround Sound encoder for continuous sample streaming and psycho-acoustic effects. It offers up to 32 mixed sample voices and fully supports the synthetic Programmable Sound Generation (PSG) voices which have been adopted from the CGB system. The key features of the sound effects playback are:
Direct Sounds A and B
Direct sounds have two channels A and B that provide for playback of linear 8-bit audio data. The audio data are set to a bias level of 00h and are 8-bit data (+127 to −128), obtained by 2's complement. Audio data are transferred sequentially to the sound FIFOs A and B (8 word capacity) using the sound transfer mode of DMAs A and B, respectively. The sampling rate can be set to an arbitrary value using Timers 0 and 1 (described below).
The operations for direct sound will now be described.
1. The Timer channel to be used (0 or 1) is selected using the sound control register SGCNT0_H.
2. A “0 clear” is performed for FIFO A and FIFO B using the sound control register SGCNT0_H, and the sequencer is initialized.
3. If sound is to be produced immediately after starting the direct sound, the first 8 bits of linear audio data is written to the FIFO with a CPU write.
4. The transfer mode for DMA 1 or 2 is specified.
5. The direct sound output settings are specified in the sound control register.
6. The timer is started.
After the preceding operations, the direct sound is executed as follows.
1. When the specified timer overflows due to a count up, the audio data are passed from the FIFO to the sound circuit.
2. If 4 words of data remain in the FIFO as the transfer count progresses, the FIFOs for direct sounds A and B output a data transfer request to the specified DMA channel.
3. If the DMA channel receiving the request is in sound FIFO transfer mode, 4 words of data are provided to the sound FIFO (the DMA WORD COUNT is ignored).
4. These steps are repeated beginning from step 1.
Sound 1 is a circuit that generates rectangular waveforms with sweep (frequency change) and envelope (volume change) functions. The contents of NR10, NR11, NR12, NR13 and NR14 for sound 1 are described with reference to
SG10L [d06-04] (Sweep Time) specify the interval for frequency change. The possible settings for these bits and the corresponding sweep time are shown in Table XI in which f128=128 Hz.
1/f128 (7.8 ms)
2/f128 (15.6 ms)
3/f128 (23.4 ms)
4/f128 (31.3 ms)
5/f128 (39.1 ms)
6/f128 (46.9 ms)
7/f128 (54.7 ms)
SG10_L [d03] (Sweep Increase/Decrease) specifies whether the frequency increases or decreases, “0” being used to specify increase frequency and “1” being used to specify decrease frequency. When the sweep function is not used, the increase/decrease flag is preferably set to “1”.
SG10_L [d02-00] (Number of Sweep Shifts) specifies the number of sweeps. The frequency data with a single shift are determined according to the following formula, with f(t) signifying the frequency after a shift and f(t−1) signifying the frequency before the shift:
If the addition according to this formula produces a value containing more than 11 bits, the sound output is stopped and the Sound 1 ON flag (bit 0) of NR52 byte (see
SG10_H [d15-12] (Envelope Initial Value) allows specification of any of 16 levels ranging from maximum to mute.
SG10_H [d11] (Envelope Increase/Decrease) specifies whether to increase or decrease the volume (0: attenuate, 1-amplify).
SG10_H [d10-08] (Number of Envelope Steps) sets the length of each step of envelope amplification or attenuation. With n the specified value, the length of 1 step (steptime) is determined by the following formula:
When n=0, the envelope function is turned off.
SG10_H [d07-06] (Waveform Duty Cycle) specify the proportion of amplitude peaks for the waveform. With reference to
SG10_H [d05-00] (Sound Length) specify the sound length. With st signifying the sound length, the length of the output sound is determined by the following formula:
SG11 [d15] (Initialization Flag) is an initialization flag. A setting of “1” causes Sound 1 to restart.
SG11 [d14] (Sound Length Flag) is a sound length flag. When this flag is “0”, sound is continuously output. When this flag is “1”, sound is output only for the length of time specified for the sound length in NR11. When sound output ends, the Sound 1 ON flag of NR52 is reset.
SG11 [d10-00] (Frequency Data) is frequency data. With fdat signifying the frequency, the output frequency (f) is determined by the following formula:
Thus, the specifiable range of frequencies is 64 to 131.1 kHz.
When the sweep function is not used, the sweep time should be set to 0 and the sweep increase/decrease flag should be set to 1. If the sweep increase/decrease flag of NR10 is set to 0, the number of sweep shifts set to a non-zero value and sweep OFF mode set, sound production may be stopped. When changing the contents of the envelope register (NR12) while a sound is executing (ON flag is 1), the initial flag is preferably set after setting the values in the envelope register.
Sound 2 is a circuit that generates rectangular waveforms with envelope functions. The contents of NR21, NR22, NR23 and NR24 for Sound 2 are described with reference to
SG20 [d15-12] (Envelope Initial Value) specify any one of sixteen levels ranging from maximum to mute for the envelope initial value.
SG20[d11] (Envelope Increase/Decrease) specifies whether volume will increase or decrease.
SG20 [d10-08] (Number of Envelope Steps) sets the length of 1 step of envelope amplification or attenuation. With n signifying the value specified, the length of 1 step (steptime) is determined by the following equation:
When n=0, the envelope function is turned off.
SG20 [d07-06] (Waveform Duty Cycle) specifies the proportion of waveform amplitude peaks.
SG20 [d05-00] (Sound Length) signifies the sound length. With st signifying the sound length data, the length of the output sound is determined by the following equation:
SG21 [d15] (Initialization Flag) is an initialization flag. A setting of “1” causes Sound 2 to be restarted.
SG21 [d14] (Sound Length) signifies the sound length. A setting of “0” is for continuous sound output and a setting of “1” is for sound output only for the time specified in the sound length data of NR21. When sound output ends, the Sound 2 ON flag of NR52 is reset.
SG21 [d10-00] (Frequency Data) is frequency data. With fdat signifying the frequency data, the output frequency is determined by the following equation:
Thus, the frequency range that can be specified is 64 to 131.1 KHz.
When changing the contents of the envelope register (NR22) while a sound is executing (ON flag is “1”), the initialization flag is preferably set after specifying a value for the envelope register.
The Sound 3 circuit outputs arbitrary waveforms and can automatically read waveform patterns (1 cycle) in waveform RAM and output them while modifying their length, frequency and level. The capacity of the waveform RAM of Sound 3 in the AGB device (total of 64 steps) is twice that in the GGB device, and can be used as 2 banks of 32 steps or as 64 steps. In addition, an output level of ¾ output can be selected.
The contents of NR30, NR31, NR32, NR33 and NR34 for Sound 3 are described with reference to
SG30_L [d07] (Sound Output Flag) is a sound output flag. Sound output stops when this flag is “0” and sound output occurs when this flag is “1”.
SG30_L [d06] (Waveform Bank Specification) provides a waveform bank specification. Two banks of waveform RAM are provided, banks 0 and 1. The Sound 3 circuit plays the waveform data in the specified bank. “0” specifies bank 0 and “1” specifies bank 1.
SG20_L [d05] (Waveform Bank Data Association Specification) provides a waveform RAM data association. When “0” is specified, 32-step waveform pattern is constructed under normal operation. With a setting of “1”, the data in the bank specified by NR30 [d06] (waveform RAM bank specification) is played, followed immediately by the data in the back bank. The front bank 32 steps and the back bank 32 steps combine to form a waveform pattern with a total of 64 steps.
SG30_H [d15] (Forced ¾ Output Level Specification Flag) is a forced ¾ output level specification flag. With “0” specified, the output level specified in NR32 [d14-13] is used. With “1” specified, a ¾ output level is forced regardless of the setting in NR32 [d14-13].
SG30_H [d14-13] (Output Level Selection) is the output level selection. The Sound 3 output level selection are shown in Table XII:
Outputs the waveform RAM data unmodified
Outputs the waveform RAM data with the contents right-shifted
1 bit (½)
Outputs the waveform RAM data with the contents right-shifted
2 bits (¼)
SG30_H [d07-00] (Sound Length) represents the sound length. The sound length is determined by the following formula, with st signifying the sound length setting:
SG21 [d15] (Initialization Flag) is an initialization flag. A setting of 1 causes Sound 3 to restart.
SG31 [d14] (Sound Length Flag) is the sound length flag. When this flag is “0”, sound is continuously outputted. When this flag is “1”, sound is output only for the length of time specified for the sound length in NR31. When sound output ends, the Sound 3 ON flag of NR52 is reset.
SG31 [d10-00] (Frequency Data) is frequency data. With fdat signifying the frequency, the output frequency (f) is determined by the following formula:
Thus, the specifiable range of frequencies is 64 to 131.1 kHz.
When changing the frequency during Sound 3 output, the initialization flag is preferably not set to avoid possibly corrupting the contents of the waveform RAM. With sounds 1, 2 and 4, the initialization flag can be set without problems.
Waveform RAM includes a 4-bit×32 step waveform pattern. It has two banks, with [d06] of SG30_L used for bank specification. The Sound 3 circuit plays the waveform data specified by the bank setting, while the waveform RAM not specified is the waveform RAM accessed by the user. The waveform RAM registers are shown in
Sound 4 is a circuit that generates white noise. The contents of NR41, NR42, NR43, and NR44 for Sound 4 are described with reference to
SG40 [d15-12] (Envelope Initial-Value) allows specification of any of 16 levels ranging from maximum to mute.
SG40 [d11] (Envelope Increase/Decrease) specifies whether to increase or decrease the volume.
SG40 [d10-08] (Number of Envelope Steps) sets the length of each step of envelope amplification or attenuation. With n the specified value, the length of 1 step (steptime) is determined by the following formula:
When n=0, the envelope function is turned off.
SG40 [d05-00] (Sound Length) specifies the sound length. With st signifying the sound length, the length of the output sound is determined by the following formula:
SG41 [d15] (Initialization Flag) is an initialization flag. A setting of 1 causes Sound 4 to be restarted.
SG41 [d14] (Sound Length) is a sound length flag. Continuous sound output is provided if set to 0 and sound is output only for the time specified in the sound length data of NR41 if set to 1. When sound output ends, the Sound 4 ON flag of NR52 is reset.
SG41 [d07-04] (Polynomial Counter Shift Clock Frequency Selection) determines the shift clock frequency. With n signifying the specified value, the shift clock frequency (shiftfreq) is selected as shown in the following formula:
In the example AGB, 1110 and 1111 are prohibited codes.
SG41 [d03] (Polynomial Counter Step Number Selection)—a value of 0 selects 15 steps; 1 selects 7 steps.
SG41 [d02-00] (Dividing Ratio Frequency Selection)—selects a 14-step pre-scalar input clock to produce the shift clock for the polynomial counter. With f=4.194304 MFz, selection is as shown in Table XIII:
Dividing Ratio Frequency
f × ½3 × 2
f × ½3 × 1
f × ½3 × (½)
f × ½3 × (⅓)
f × ½3 × (¼)
f × ½3 × (⅕)
f × ½3 × (⅙)
f × ½3 × ( 1/7)
When changing the contents of the envelope register (NR22) while a sound is executing (ON flag is 1), the initialization flag should be set after specifying a value for the envelope register.
The output ratio for direct sound and sound can be set using the SGCNT0_H register shown in
The register SGCNT0_L is shown in
SGCNT0_L [d11-08] (R Output Flag for each Sound) are respective R output flags for each sound. There is no output of a sound to R when the corresponding flag is 0. A sound is output to R when the corresponding flag is set to 1.
SGCNT0_L [d06-04] (L Output Level) sets the L output level to any of 8 levels. There is no effect on direct sound.
SGCNT0_L [d02-00] (R Output Level) sets the R output level to any of 8 levels. There is no effect on direct sound.
The SGCNT1 register is shown in
SGCNT1 [d03, d03, d01, d00] (Sound Operation Flags) are sound operation flags for the respective sounds and each sound circuit's status can be referenced. Each sound is set during output, and when in counter mode, it is reset after the time passes which was set up with the length data.
The SGCNT0_H register is shown in
SGCNT0_H [d14],[d10] (Timer Selection for Each Direct Sound) specifies the timer used for each direct sound. A setting of 0 selects timer 0, and a setting of 1 selects timer 1. The same timer can be specified for both direct sounds (A and B).
SGCNT0_H [d13],[d09] (L Output for Each Direct Sound) controls the output to L for each direct sound. A setting of 0 results in no output to L; a setting of 1 causes output to L.
SGCNT0_H [d12],[d08] (R Output for Each Direct Sound) controls the output to R for each direct sound. A setting of 0 results in no output to R; a setting of 1 causes output to R.
SGCNT0_H [d03],[d02] (Output Ratio for Each Direct Sound) selects the output level for each direct sound. A setting of 0 produces output that is ½ of full range. A setting of 1 results in full-range output.
SGCNT0_H [d01-00] (Output Ratio for Synthesis of Sounds 1-4) specifies the output level for the synthesis of sounds 1-4. A setting of 00 results in output that is ¼ of full range. A setting of 01 results in output that is ½ of full range. A setting of 10 results in full-range output. In the example AGB, a setting of 11 is prohibited.
Sound PWM Control
Bit modulation format PWM is used in the example AGB sound circuit. When no sound is produced, the duty waveform is output, and bias voltage is provided. The PWM circuit is stopped when the setting for duty is 0h.
The SG_BIAS register shown in
SG_BIAS [d09-00] (Bias Level) is used by system ROM and its value is preferably not changed.
The example AGB is equipped with 4 channels of 16 bit timers. Of these, timers 0 and 1 can be used to set the interval for the supply of data from the FIFO(s) for direct sounds A and B. This interval is set by timer overflow. The timer setting registers TM0D, TM1D, TM2D and TM3D are shown in
TM*CNT [d07] is a timer operation flag that starts and stops the timer. A setting of 0 stops the timer, and a setting of 1 starts the timer.
TM*CNT [d06] is an interrupt request enable flag that controls whether an interrupt request flag is generated by an overflow. No interrupt is generated with a setting of 0. An overflow does generate an interrupt if the setting is 1.
TM*CNT [d02] is a count-up timing bit. With a setting of 0, count-up is performed in accordance with the pre-scalar specification in [d01-00]. With a setting of 1, overflow of the timer channel one number lower starts a count-up regardless of the pre-scalar specification. This mode is suitable for purposes such as time measurement over relatively long periods. The count-up timing specification is disabled for Timer 0, which counts up in accordance with the pre-scalar specification.
TM*CNT [d01-00] are pre-scalar selection bits that allow selection of a pre-scalar based on the system clock (16.78 MHz) as shown in Table XV:
TABLE XV Setting Pre-scalar (Count-Up Interval) 00 System clock (59.595 ns) 01 64 cycles of system clock (3.814 microseconds) 10 256 cycles of system clock (15.256 microseconds) 11 1024 cycles of system clock (61.025 microseconds)
The example AGB has 4 DMA transfer channels. The highest priority of these channels is DMA0, followed in order by DMA1, DMA2, and DMA3. If a DMA with a higher priority than the currently executing DMA begins execution, the execution of the current DMA is temporarily halted, and the DMA with the higher priority is executed. Once this DMA finishes, the original DMA resumes execution from where it was halted. Illustrative uses of the DMA channels that take into account these priorities are described below.
Because this DMA has the highest priority, it is not interrupted by other DMA channels. Thus, it is generally used for reliable processing over a limited period, as is required for purposes such as horizontal-blanking DMA.
DMA 1 and DMA 2
These DMAs are used for direct sound functions, which require relatively high priority, or for general-purpose transfers.
This DMA is used for the most general types of transfers.
The following settings are performed when using DMA:
1. Specify the transfer source address in the source address register.
2. Specify the transfer destination address in the destination address register.
3. Set the number of data items in the word-count register.
4. Specify the transfer method to be used in the DMA control register.
When transferring data to OAM or OBJ VRAM by DMA during H-blanking, the H-blank is preferably first be freed from OBJ display hardware processing periods using the DISPCNT register.
DMA 0 allows different areas of internal memory in the main unit to access one another. It has the highest priority of the DMA channels.
The source address registers DM0SAD_L and DM0SAD_H shown in
The destination address registers DM0DAD_L and DM0DAD_H shown in
The word count register DM0CNT_L shown in
The DMA control register DM0CNT_H is shown in
DM0CNT_H [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag) is an interrupt request enable flag that enables an interrupt request to be generated when DMA transfer of the specified word count has been completed. No request is generated with a setting of 0; a request is generated with a setting of 1.
DM0CNT_H [d13-12] (DMA Transfer Timing) specify the DMA transfer timing. The timing of the DMA transfer can selected from the options in Table XVI.
DMA Start-up Timing
Start during a V-blanking interval - starts at the
beginning of a V-blanking interval
(approximately 4.993 milliseconds)
Start during an H-blanking interval - starts at
the beginning of an H-blanking interval
(approximately 16.212 microseconds). If this
accompanies OAM access, the H-blanking
interval must first be freed of OBJ display
hardware processing periods.
DM0CNT_H [d10] (DMA Transfer Type) sets the bit length of the transfer data. With a setting of 0, the data are transferred by DMA in 16-bit (half-word) units. With a setting of 1, the data are transferred by DMA in 32-bit (word) units.
DM0CNT_H [d09] (DMA Repeat) turns the DMA repeat function ON and OFF. With the DMA repeat function set to ON, if V-blanking or H-blanking intervals are selected as the timing of DMA startup, DMA is restarted when the next startup condition occurs (a V-blank or H-blank). In this mode, restarting will continue as long as the DMA enable flag is not set to 0. When the DMA repeat function is set to OFF, DMA halts as soon as the amount of data specified by the value in the word-count register has been transferred.
DM0CNT_H [d08-07] (Source Address Control Flag) specifies the control of the source address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. The setting of 11 is not used.
DM0CNT_H [d06-05] (Destination Address Control Flag) specifies the control of the destination address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. A setting of 11 causes an increment and after all transfers end, a reload (i.e., the setting is returned to what it was when the transfer started) is done.
DMA 1 and 2
DMA channels 1 and 2 provide access between the game cartridge bus/internal memory of the main unit and internal memory of the main unit, or between the game cartridge bus/internal memory of the main unit and the direct sound FIFO. Transfers to direct-sound FIFO can be accomplished only by using DMA 1 and 2.
The source address registers DM1SAD_L (and DM2SAD_L) and DM1SAD_H (and DM2SAD_H) shown in
The destination address registers DM1DAD_L (and DM2DAD_L) and DM1DAD_H (and DM2DADH) shown in
The word count register DM1CNT_L (and DM2CNT_L) shown in
The DMA Control register DM1CNT_H (and DM2CNT_H) is shown in
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag) enables an interrupt request to be generated when DMA transfer of the specified word count has been completed. No request is generated with a setting of 0; a request is generated with a setting of 1.
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d13-12] (DMA Transfer Timing) sets the timing of the DMA transfer. This timing can be selected from the options in Table XVII.
DMA Startup Timing
Start during a V-blanking interval - starts at the
beginning of a V-blanking interval
(approximately 4.993 milliseconds)
Start during an H-blanking interval - starts at
the beginning of an H-blanking interval
(approximately 16.212 microseconds). If this
accompanies OAM access, the H-blanking
interval should first be freed of OBJ display
hardware processing periods.
Start when request generated by Direct-Sound
FIFO - starts when a request is received from
direct-sound FIFO. Specify sound FIFO as the
destination address. Also set the DMA repeat
function [d09] to 01.
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d10] (DMA Transfer Type) sets the bit length of the transfer data. With a setting of 0, the data are transferred by DMA in 16-bit (half-word) units. With a setting of 1, the data are transferred by DMA in 32-bit (word) units. In direct-sound FIFO transfer mode, the data are transferred in 32-bit units.
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d09] (DMA Repeat) turns the DMA repeat function ON and OFF. With the DMA repeat function set to ON, if V-blanking or H-blanking intervals are selected as the timing of DMA startup, DMA is restarted when the next startup condition occurs (a V-blank or H-blank). In this mode, restarting will continue as long as the DMA enable flag is not set to 0. When the DMA repeat function is set to OFF, DMA halts as soon as the amount of data specified by the value in the word-count register has been transferred. This bit should be set to 1 in direct-sound FIFO transfer mode.
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d08] (Source Address Control Flag) specifies the control of the source address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. A setting of 11 is not used. When the game cartridge bus has been set to the source address, increment should be selected.
DM(1,2)CNT_H [d07] (Destination Address Control Flag) specifies the control destination address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. A setting of 11 causes an increment to be carried out and then a reload (i.e., return to setting at start of transfer) is done after every transfer is completed. When in direct sound FIFO transfer mode, the destination address is fixed and unrelated to the setting.
DMA 3 provides memory access between the game cartridge bus and internal memory of the main unit, or between different areas of internal memory of the main unit. The source address registers DM3SAD_L and DM3SAD_H shown in
The destination address registers DM3DAD_L and DM3DAD_H shown in
The word count register DM3CNT_L shown in
The DMA Control Register DM3CNT_H is shown in
DM3CNT_H [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag) enables an interrupt request to be generated when DMA transfer of the specified word count has been completed. No request is generated with a setting of 0; a request is generated with a setting of 1.
DM3CNT_H [d13-12] (DMA Transfer Timing) selects the timing of the DMA transfer. This timing can selected from the options in Table XVIII:
DMA Startup Timing
Start during a V-blanking interval - starts at the
beginning of a V-blanking interval
(approximately 4.993 milliseconds)
Start during an H-blanking interval - starts at
the beginning of an H-blanking interval
(approximately 16.212 microseconds). If this
accompanies OAM access, the H-blanking
interval should first be freed of OBJ display
hardware processing periods.
Synchronize with display and start - synchronize
with start of H-line rendering during a display
interval and start.
DM3CNT_H [d11] (Game Cartridge Data Request Transfer Flag) is normally set to 0. When set to 1, DMA transfer is performed in response to a data request from the game cartridge. A game cartridge that supports this transfer mode is required in order to use it. It cannot be used at the same time as a game cartridge interrupt.
DM3CNT_H [d10] (DMA Transfer Type) sets the bit length of the transfer data. With a setting of 0, the data are transferred by DMA in 16-bit (half-word) units. With a setting of 1, the data are transferred by DMA in 32-bit (word) units.
DM3CNT_H [d09] (DMA Repeat) turns the DMA repeat function ON and OFF. With the DMA repeat function set to ON, if V-blanking or H-blanking intervals are selected as the timing of DMA startup, DMA is restarted when the next startup condition occurs (a V-blank or H-blank). In this mode, restarting will continue as long as the DMA enable flag is not set to 0. When the DMA repeat function is set to OFF, DMA halts as soon as the amount of data specified by the value in the word-count register has been transferred.
DM3CNT_H [d08] (Source Address Control Flag) specifies the control of the source address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. A setting of 11 is not used. When the game cartridge bus, has been set to the source address, increment should be selected.
DM3CNT_H [d07] (Destination Address Control Flag) specifies the control of the destination address after each DMA transfer. A setting of 00 causes an increment; a setting of 01 causes a decrement; and a setting of 10 causes it to be fixed. A setting of 11 causes an increment to be carried out and then a reload (i.e., a return to setting at start of transfer) is done after every transfer is completed.
The example AGB provides the following communication functions:
8-bit/32-bit normal communication
16-bit multiplayer communication
General purpose communication
JOY Bus communication
These communication functions may be used for a wide variety of purposes. For example, multi-player communication can be used for communication between one or more additional AGBs to permit multi-player (e.g., four player) game play. This multi-player game play may be carried out even if only one AGB has a game cartridge for the game inserted into the game cartridge slot thereof. The game program itself should be written to utilize this feature.
JOY Bus communication may be used, for example, to connect the AGB to a game console such as the N64® and GameCube® products from Nintendo Co. Ltd. In this arrangement, the AGB can be used as a controller for the game console and the AGB display screen can display private data for each player that is not intended to be seen by other players. For example, in a card game, the AGB display screen can display an individual player's cards while the television connected to the game console can display cards common to all players. In a football game, the AGB screen can display a list from which plays are selected. A player on offense may select from a list of offensive plays (runs and passes) while a player on defense may select from a list of defensive plays (blitz, prevent, etc.).
Other communication functions may be used to connect the AGB to remote computers for game downloads and data exchanges. For example, an adapter may be used to connect the AGB to a mobile phone or the AGB may be connected to a modem. In this way, a user of the AGB can download games and game updates; play multi-player games; send/receive e-mail; get news, sports, stock and weather updates; etc.
8-Bit/32-Bit normal communication function is used, for example, to communicate with accessories that do not use cables. In the example AGB, normal communication cannot take place over a cable. When communicating with AGB using a cable, multi-player communication is used. Due to the voltage difference, it is not possible to communicate with CGB. 8-bit communication handles 8-bit data with a transfer-enable flag. 32-bit communication handles 32-bit data with a transfer-enable flag.
The 16-Bit multi-player communication function is a multiple/simultaneous communication function that uses a UART system to enable communication of up to 4 AGB units. A special cable to be described in greater detail below is used for multi-player communication.
The UART communication function enables high-speed communication by the UART system.
The general purpose communication function enables communication by any protocol through direct control of the communication terminal.
The JOY Bus communication function enables communication using a standardized Nintendo Joy Bus.
Selecting Communication Function
All communication functions use an external expansion 6-pin connector. Communication functions are switched as shown in Table XIX by the communication function set flag of the communication control register R (2-bit) (see
When communication modes are changed, only the communication mode set flag is first changed. A communication is preferably not started at the same time as modes are changed as this may cause a malfunction.
8-Bit/32-Bit Normal Serial Communication
This communication is a serial transfer that sends/receives simultaneously. If data is set in the data register and the serial transfer is started, received data is set in the data register when the transfer is complete.
With reference to
8 bit Normal Serial Communication Data Register
The 8-bit transfer mode uses SCCNT_H shown in
32-bit Normal Serial Communication Data Register
The 32-bit transfer mode uses register SCD0 and register SCD1 shown in
The control register SCCNT_L is shown in
SCCNT_L [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag) determines whether interrupt requests will be made. If 0 is set, an interrupt request will not be made. If 1 is set, an interrupt request will be made immediately after transfer is complete.
SCCNT_L [d12] (Transfer Length Setting Flag) sets the bit length of transfer data. If set to 0, 8-bit transfer is carried out. If set to 1, 32-bit transfer is carried out.
SCCNT_L [d07] (Start Bit) is set to 1 to start a serial transfer. This bit is automatically reset after transfer completion.
SCCNT_L [d03] (Transfer Enable Flag Send)—a setting of 0 enables transfer and a setting of 1 disables transfer. This flag is output from the SO terminal until the start of a transfer. When the transfer starts, serial data is output from the SO terminal.
SCCNT_L [d02] (Transfer Enable Flag Receive)—it is possible to read the status of the SI terminal (transfer-enable flag transmitting of the other party's hardware) before communication starts. It becomes invalid after communication has started (receive data bit during communication is reflected).
SCCNT_L [d01] (Internal Shift Clock Selection)—if set to 0, 256 KHz is selected for the shift clock. If set to 1, 2 MHz is selected for the shift clock.
SCCNT_L [d00] Shift Clock Selection—if set to 0, an external clock is used as a shift clock (slave). The external clock is input by the SC terminal from another hardware unit. The SD terminal will go to LO output. If set to 1, an internal clock is used as a shift clock (master). The internal clock is output from the SC terminal, and SD terminal will be in the pull-up input status.
The shift clock is preferably selected before the start bit of the SCCNT_L register is set. Extra shift operations may result if the serial transfer is started before or at the same time as the shift clock is selected.
The SCCNT_L register is preferably not accessed while its start bit is set.
The 8 bit transfer mode is compatible in terms of modes with DMG/CGB, but the voltage with the communication terminal varies. Therefore, communication between AGB and DMG/CGB is not possible.
For normal communication, use of cable is prohibited.
In order to communicate between AGBs, the multi player communication functions described below are used.
Example Normal Serial Communication Flow
If, at ST 510, it is determined that the device is not communicating as the master device, the operation proceeds to ST 518 where the external clock is selected with the register SCCNT_L. Then, at ST 520, (0) is set in (d03) of register SCCNT_L and, at ST 522, the start flag is set for register SCCNT_L and the external clock input is waited for. At the end of transmit (receive/send), the operation then proceeds to ST 524.
At ST 524, the start flag for register SCCNT_L is reset. If the Interrupt Request Enable Flag is set, an interrupt request is generated.
16-Bit Multi-player Communication
The example AGB enables multi-player communication between up to 4 units using a special cable. Depending on the connection status, one unit is established as the master and transfers data to slaves in order, one after another.
The connection status during multi-player communication is shown in
The SI terminal is in pull-up input, but due to the multi-player communication cable it becomes pull-down. Thus, once all of the terminals are in multi-player mode, the terminal that is LO input to the SI terminal becomes the master. The terminal that is HI input to the SI terminal becomes the slave. If the start bit of Register SCCNT_L of the master is set, the data registers SCD0, SCD1, SCD2, and SCD3 of the master are initialized to FFFFh. Additionally, the “SYNC signal” (LO level) is output from the SC terminal. At the same time, the “Start bit” (LO level) is output from the SD terminal. Next, the data from Register SCCNT_H is output and a “Stop bit” (HI level) is output. After this is done, the master makes the SD terminal become pull-up input, and LO is output from the SO terminal. Each slave detects the “SYNC Signal” output from the master and initializes all of the data registers (SCD0, SCD1, SCD2, and SCD3 shown in
If LO is input to the SI terminal of the slave that was connected immediately following the master, a “Start bit” (LO level) is output from the SD terminal. Next, data from Register SCCNT_H is output, and lastly a “Stop bit” (HI level) is output. After this, the SD terminal goes to pull-up input and LO is output from the SO terminal. At this point, the data output from the first slave is stored in the master and each slave's SCD1 Register. In this way, each slave is sent and all transmissions are carried out.
In the following situations, the master produces a “SYNC Signal” (pull-up input after the output of a 5 cycle HI interval of source oscillation) and the transmission ends:
The data send is stored in the Register SCCNT_H shown in
If Register SCCNT_L (d13,d12)=(1,0) when Register R (d15) (0), 16-bit multi-player communication mode is enabled. Register SCCNT_L is shown in
SCCNT_L [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag)—when set to 0, no interrupt request is generated. When set to 1, an interrupt request is generated upon the completion of multi-player communication.
SCCNT_L [d07] (Start Bit/Busy Flag)
1. Master (d00 is 1)
When set to 0, no data is transferred. When set to 1, a data transfer is started. Upon completion of data transfer, it is automatically reset.
2. Slave (d00 is 0)
Set during input of transmit start bit (LO source oscillation cycle×3 (approx. 180 ns)), and reset when transfer is complete.
SCCNT_L [d06] (Communication Error Flag) allows confirmation of communication status. If the status for this bit is 0, there is no error. If it is 1, an error has occurred. This error flag is automatically set in the following situations:
Even if an error occurs, the communication continues, and invalid data is stored in SCD0-SCD3.
SCCNT_[d05-d04] (Multi-player ID Flag)—when multi-player communication ends, an ID code will be stored which specifies the order that each particular system was connected.
SCCNT_L [d03] (SD Terminal)—the status of the SD Terminal can be read. If all of the connected terminals enter multi-player communication mode, it becomes HI status.
SCCNT_L [d02] (SI Terminal)—the status of the SI Terminal can be read. When all of the connected terminals are in multi-player communication mode, this shows that the terminal that is LO input to the SI terminal is the master. HI input means that it is a slave. Prior to communication starting, it is not possible to determine the number order of a particular slave.
SCCNT_L [d01-d00] (Baud Rate)—sets the communication baud rate as set forth in Table XX.
Example Multi-player Communication Flow
If, at ST 558, it is determined that (d03) of register SCCNT_L is (1), a determination is then made as to whether (d02) of register SCCNT_L is 0 (ST 561). If so, the operation proceeds to ST 570 via ST 562 and ST 564. If not, the operation proceeds to ST 570 via ST 566 and ST 568.
At ST 562, the device is determined to be connected as the master and the start flag is set for register SCCNT_L. At ST 564, data is output and data is obtained from all slaves.
At ST 566, the device is determined to be connected as a slave and waits for input from the master. At ST 568, communication is started by the master and data is obtained from other systems. Once this particular slave's number is reached, data is output.
At ST 570, the multi-play ID number is stored in (d05, d04) of register SCCNT_L. At ST 572, if the interrupt request enable flag is set for register SCCNT_L, an interrupt request is generated.
UART Communication Functions
UART communications are illustrated in
The output of the SD terminal of a second system is input to the SC terminal of the first system. Once data is written to the send data register, data is sent after a “Start bit” (1 bit) is sent from the SO terminal. However, when the CTS flag for the Control Register is set, data can be sent only when there is a LO input to the SC terminal. The Stop bit is a fixed 1 bit.
When sending or receiving, there are 4 bytes of FIFO. The use of FIFO can be selected using the FIFO enable flag for the control register SCCNT_L.
If FIFO is not used, when Register SCCNT_H is written to, data is written to the send data register. When a read is done, data is read from the receive data register (only the lower 8 bits are valid).
If FIFO is used, when Register SCCNT_H is written to, data is written to the send data FIFO. When a read is done, data is read from the receive FIFO (only the lower 8 bits are valid).
Data register SCCNT_H is shown in
SCCNT_L [d14] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag)—when set to 0, an interrupt request is not generated. When set to 1, an interrupt request is generated when a communication error occurs and when the transmission (send/receive) ends.
SCCNT_L [d11] (Receive Enable Flag) controls the receive enable/disable. If the receive enable flag is set when the receive data register (or the receive FIFO) is not full, a LO is output from the SD terminal, and a HI is output if it is reset. The receive enable flag must be set and the send enable flag must be set to 0 [Disable] before going from UART communication mode to a different communication mode.
SCCNT_L [d10] (Send Enable Flag) controls the send enable/disable. The receive enable flag must be set and the send enable flag must be set to 0 [Disable] before going from UART communication mode to a different communication mode.
SCCNT_L [d09] (Parity Enable Flag) controls the parity enable/disable.
SCCNT_L [d08] (FIFO Enable Flag) controls the send of the 8 bit wide×4 depth and the receive FIFO enable/disable. When using FIFO, it is needed to go into the UART mode in a status of 0 [FIFO Disable]. By disabling FIFO in UART mode the FIFO sequencer is initialized.
SCCNT_L [d07] (Data Length) selects the data length as 8 bits or 7 bits.
SCCNT_L [d06] (Error Flag)—by referring to this error flag, the status of communication errors can be determined. When this flag is 0, no errors have occurred. When this flag is set to 1, an error has occurred. By reading Register SCCNT_L, this error flag is reset. Additionally, when there has been an error, the data from the Receive Shift Register is not written to the Receive Data Register. The conditions associated with each error are described in Table XXI.
The receive data stop bit is not 0
When parity is enabled, there is an error in
parity for the receive data
The following receive ends (a stop bit is
detected) when the receive data is a status of
SCCNT_L [d05] (Receive Data Flag)—when set to 0, there is still data present. When set to 1, it is empty.
SCCNT_L [d04] (Send Data Flag)—When set to 0, it is not full. After one send operation ends this is reset. When set to 1, it is full. It is set during a write of data to the lower 8 bits of the Send Data Register SCCNT_H.
SCCNT_L [d03] (Parity Control) switches between even parity and odd parity.
SCCNT_L [d02] (CTS Flag)—the SD terminal of the other system (receive enable/disable) is input to the SC terminal. When set to 0, a send is always possible independent of the SC Terminal. When set to 1, a send is only possible when a LO is input to the SC Terminal.
SCCNT_L [d01-d00] (Baud Rate) sets communication baud rate as shown in Table XXII.
General Purpose Communication
Setting (d13, d12)=(1, 0) initiates the general purpose communication mode. In this mode, all of the terminals SI, SO, SC, and SD become pull-up and operate as general purpose input/output terminals. Each of the communication terminals SI, SO, SC, and SD can be directly controlled.
Register R is shown in
R [d08] (Interrupt Request Enable Flag)—when general purpose input/output is set (R[d15,d14]=[1,0]) with the Communication Function Set Flag, a 1 causes an interrupt request to be generated with the falling of the SI Terminal (edge detect). When set to 0, no interrupt request is generated.
R [d07-d04] (Input/Output Selection Flag)—when general purpose input/output is set (R[d15,d14]=[1,0]) with the Communication Function Set Flag, a setting of 0 allows the corresponding terminal to be used as an input terminal. A setting of 1 allows the corresponding terminal to be used as an output terminal.
R [d03-d00] (Data Bit)—when the corresponding terminal is set for input, the status (HI/LO) of the terminal can be confirmed. If the corresponding terminal is set for output, the status of the set bit is output.
JOY Bus Communication
By setting the Communication Function Set Flag of Register R to 11, JOY Bus communication mode is selected. In JOY Bus communication mode, the SI Terminal is for input, and the SO Terminal is for output. The SD and SC terminals go to LO output.
Register HS_CTRL for JOY Bus communication control is shown in
HS_CRTL [d02] (Send Complete Flag) is set upon completion of send operation. When this is set, if a 1 is written, a reset can be done.
HS_CRTL [d01] (Receive Complete Flag) is set upon completion of a receive operation.
When this is set, if a 1 is written, a reset can be done. HS_CRTL [d00] (Device Reset Signal Receive Flag) is set when a device reset command is received. When this is set, if a 1 is written, a reset can be done.
The receive data registers JOYRE_L and JOYRE_H are shown in
The lower 8-bits of the receive status register JSTAT shown in
JSTAT [d03] (Send Status Flag)—when an AGB write data signal is received, this is set. If a word read is done with the JOYRE Register it is reset.
JSTAT [d01] (Receive Status Flag)—when a word write is done with the JOYTR Register, this is set. If an AGB read data signal is received it is reset.
JOY Bus Communication Operations
AGB JOY Bus communication recognizes four commands sent from the host (e.g., the N64®, GameCube, etc.): [Device Reset], [Type/Status Data Request], [AGB Data Write], and [AGB Data Read]. The AGB operates based on the particular signal received. The transfer of the bit data for JOY Bus communication is done in units of bytes and in the order of MSB first.
[Device Reset] Command(FFh) Received
The device reset signal receive flag for Register HS_CTRL is set. If the interrupt request enable flag for the same register is also set, a JOY Bus interrupt request is generated. See
[Type/Status Data Request] Command(00h) Received
Returns 2 byte type number (0004h) and 1 byte communication status. See
[AGB Data Write] Command(15h) Received
Receives the 4 bytes of data sent following this command, and stores them in Register JOYRE. Once the receive is completed a 1 byte communication status is returned, and the receive complete flag for Register HS_CTRL is set. Also, if the interrupt request enable flag for the same register is set, a JOY Bus interrupt request is generated. See
[AGB Data Read] Command(14h) Received
4 bytes of data stored in Register JOYTR and the 1 byte communication status are sent, and the send complete flag for Register HS_CTRL is set. Also, if the interrupt request enable flag for the same register is set, a JOY Bus interrupt request is generated. See
When communicating between AGB units, the communication cable to be used will vary depending upon the type of game cartridge used as shown in
The AGB allows input with the operating keys 33 a-33 g. The status of each of these operating keys can be checked by reading the individual bits of Register P1 shown in
Key Interrupt Control
When an interrupt is performed for key input, the register P1CNT shown in
The interrupt conditions specify interrupt generation conditions when the interrupt enable request flag is true. The conditions for buttons selected with the key interrupt specification flag can be selected as follows:
1. Logical Addition (OR) Operation
The conditions for interrupt request generation occur when there is input for any of the buttons specified as interrupts.
2. Logical Multiplication (AND) Operation
The conditions for interrupt request generation occur when there is simultaneous input for all of the keys specified as interrupt keys.
AGB can use 14 types of maskable hardware interrupts. If an interrupt request signal is received from a hardware item, the corresponding interrupt request flag is set in the IF register. Masking can be performed individually for interrupt request signals received from each hardware item by means of the interrupt request flag register IE.
The Interrupt Mask Enable Register IE is shown in
The Interrupt Enable Register IE is shown in
The Interrupt Request Register IF is shown in
System-Allocated Area in Work RAM
Controlling interrupts entails, along with clearing the IF register and setting the IE register, first writing an interrupt jump address at addresses $7FFC-$7FFF (total of 32 bits; see
The Interrupt Processing Routine can be arbitrarily defined, but as a general rule, a monitor ROM is provided to handle this processing.
1. With reference to
2. User interrupt processing is done (the cause of the interrupt can be referenced with the IF Register). Problems with a stack are solved, if necessary.
3. Restore the registers (total of 6 words) saved to the Interrupt Stack and return to user main processing. See
Only the interrupt stack is used for normal interrupt processing. Therefore, there is a possibility of stack overflow in some cases. To solve this problem, a larger interrupt stack can be allocated by moving SP_usr in advance or using the user stack for both, by switching the CPU mode to the user mode in user interrupt processing. In connection with the latter method, an explanation of multiple interrupts is described below.
1. If an interrupt occurs, the CPU enters IRQ mode and control shifts to the monitor ROM. In the monitor ROM, each register (R0˜R3, R12, LR_irq (former PC)) is saved to the Interrupt Stack. The total is 6 words. Next, the user interrupt processing set up in 03007FFCh is called. Commands called from the monitor directly must be in 32-bit code format. See
2. User interrupt processing is done (the cause of the interrupt can be referenced with the IF Register). If multiple interrupts occur, SPSR_irq will be overwritten, so a save must occur before enabling IRQ. See
Power Down Functions
Stop Function Summary
During periods when the LCD display is not done and CPU processing is not considered essential, power consumption can be reduced greatly if used efficiently. The content of each type of RAM are maintained.
1. Implementation of Stop Mode
The AGB is placed in stop mode by executing the system call [SWI<3>] instruction (Stop( )).
2. Canceling Stop Mode
If the corresponding flag with the interrupt enable register IE is set when there is an interrupt request from a key, game cartridge, or SIO, the stop is cancelled.
Canceling stop status requires a brief wait until the system clock stabilizes.
System Working Status in Stop Mode
The working status of each block of the AGB system during a stop is shown in Table XXIII:
TABLE XXIII Block Working Status AGB-CPU X Wait status resulting from wait signal LPU X Stopped because no clock provided Sound X Stopped Timer X Stopped Serial Communication X Stopped Key X Stopped System Clock X Stopped Infrared Communication X Stopped
In the case of the LPU block, Stop mode is entered after turning the LCD OFF because the LPU stops. If Sound stops in Stop mode, noise may be heard.
Halt Function Summary
During periods when CPU processing is not considered essential, power consumption can be reduced.
1. Invoking Halt
The AGB is placed in halt mode by executing the system call [SWI<2>] instruction (Halt( )).
2. Canceling Halt
Halt is canceled when the interrupt enable register IE's corresponding flag is set with any type of interrupt request.
System Working Status in Halt Mode
The working status of each block of the AGB system during a semi-stop is shown in Table XXIV.
TABLE XXIV Block Working Status AGB-CPU X Wait status resulting from wait signal LPU ◯ Normal operation Sound ◯ Normal operation Timer ◯ Normal operation Serial Communication ◯ Normal operation Key ◯ Normal operation System Clock ◯ Normal operation
AGB System Calls
System Call Operation
1. When an argument is required for the system call used, after writing to registers R0-R3 call the monitor ROM system call with the “SWI<Number>”. The CPU mode changes to Supervisor Mode.
2. The registers, SPSR_svc (formerly CPSR), R11, R12, LR_svc (formerly PC) are saved to the system call stack with the monitor ROM. See
3. Switch from CPU mode to system mode. The IRQ disable flag is called with the monitor ROM. The previous status will continue.
4. The R2 and LR_usr registers are saved to the user stack. Other registers will be saved with each system call. See
5. Complete processing using each system call. See
6. Return value to registers R0, R1, and R3, in cases where a system call provides a return value, and then return to the user program. See
1. When an argument is required for the system call used, after reading to the registers, R0-R3, call the monitor ROM system call with the “SWI<Number>”.
2. Save the registers, SPSR_svc (formerly CPSR), R12, LR_svc (formerly PC) to the system call stack with the monitor ROM. See
3. Switch from CPU mode to system mode. The status of the IRQ Disable Flag prior to the call is kept in system ROM. The previous conditions will be continued.
4. The R2 and LR_usr registers are saved to the user stack. Other registers will be saved with each system call. See
5. Interrupt occurs while executing system call. See
6. User interrupt processing is done. The cause of the interrupt can be referenced with the IF Register. The CPU mode is changed to System Mode (User Mode with privilege) in order to solve the problem with stacks (to reference interrupt processing). See
7. The monitor ROM does the system call operation (1), and loads to the system call stack. See
8. The CPU Mode is switched to System Mode (privileged user mode).
9. The monitor ROM does the same operation as (3), and loads to the user stack. See
10. Complete processing with each system call. See
11. Return value to registers R0, R1, and R3, in cases where a system call provides a return value, and then return to the user interrupt processing. See
12. Complete the user interrupt processing and return to the previous system call. See
13. Complete processing with each system call. See
14. Return value to registers R0, R1, and R3, in cases where a system call provides a return value, and then return to the user program. See
ROM Registration Data
Information about the game is registered in the program area for AGB software as shown in
Store the 32-bit ARM command “B<User program start address>”.
Logo Character Data
The logo/character data, which is displayed when the game is started, is stored here. The monitor ROM checks this data at start-up.
The game title is stored in this area.
A game code for the game is stored in this area.
A code indicative of the game maker is stored in this area.
A fixed code “96h” is stored.
Main Unit Code
A code for the hardware on which the software is intended to run is stored in this area.
The type of device in the game cartridge is stored. If there is a 1 Mbit flash DACS (Debugging And Communication System) (=custom 1 Mbit flash Memory with security and patch functions) in a game cartridge, the most significant bit is set to 1. Otherwise it is reset.
Software Version No.
The ROM version number is stored.
The 2's complement of the total of the data stored in address 80000A0h˜80000BCh plus 19h is stored.
“0” is stored in address 80000BEh and 80000BFh respectively. The ROM data is added byte-by-byte to determine the binary total. The data at address 80000BEh and 80000BFh is replaced with the lower 2 bytes of the calculated result.
Other Example Compatible Implementations
Certain of the above-described system components could be implemented as other than the home video game console system or hand-held system configurations described above.
An emulator system, for example, might include software and/or hardware components that emulate or simulate some or all of hardware and/or software components of the system for which the application software was written. For example, the emulator system could comprise a general-purpose digital computer such as a personal computer, which executes a software emulator program that simulates the hardware and/or firmware of the system. The emulator could also comprise a personal digital assistant (PDA) that simulates the hardware and/or firmware of the system. An emulator may execute the game software so that a particular game functions and/or appears somewhat differently from how it functions and/or appears on its intended platform. Thus, the emulator may show a color game in monochrome or a play a game without its accompanying sound. Emulation as used herein is intended to include emulation that results in these and other such differences in function and appearance.
Some general purpose digital computers (e.g., IBM or MacIntosh personal computers and compatibles) are now equipped with 3D graphics cards that provide 3D graphics pipelines compliant with DirectX or other standard 3D graphics command APIs. They may also be equipped with stereophonic sound cards that provide high quality stereophonic sound based on a standard set of sound commands. Such multimedia-hardware-equipped personal computers running emulator software may have sufficient performance to approximate the graphics and sound performance of the system. Emulator software controls the hardware resources on the personal computer platform to simulate the processing, graphics, sound, peripheral and other capabilities of the portable game system platform for which the game programmer wrote the game software. Similarly, PDAs running emulator software may have sufficient performance to approximate the graphics and sound performance of the system.
Application Ser. No. 09/723,322, filed Nov. 28, 2000 and entitled “Video Game Emulator That Recognizes and Adapts to Particular Games” (the contents of which are incorporated herein) discloses a software emulator that maintains high quality graphics and sound in real time across a wide variety of video games and other applications. The emulator disclosed in application Ser. No. 09/723,322 achieves this through a unique combination of features and optimizations including, for example:
It will be recognized that various features and optimizations described in application Ser. No. 09/723,322 are applicable to emulate the example AGBs described herein.
As one example, in the case where the software is written for execution on a platform using a specific processor and the host 1201 is a personal computer using a different (e.g., Intel) processor, emulator 1203 fetches one or a sequence of binary-image program instructions from storage medium 62 and converts these program instructions to one or more equivalent Intel binary-image program instructions. The emulator 1203 also fetches and/or generates graphics commands and audio commands and converts these commands into a format or formats that can be processed by hardware and/or software graphics and audio processing resources available on host 1201. As one example, emulator 1303 may convert these commands into commands that can be processed by specific graphics and/or or sound hardware of the host 1201 (e.g., using standard DirectX, OpenGL and/or sound APIs).
An emulator 1303 used to provide some or all of the features of the video game system described above may also be provided with a graphic user interface (GUI) that simplifies or automates the selection of various options and screen modes for games run using the emulator. In one example, such an emulator 1303 may further include enhanced functionality as compared with the host platform for which the software was originally intended.
A number of program modules including emulator 1303 may be stored on the hard disk 1211, removable magnetic disk 1215, optical disk 1219 and/or the ROM 1252 and/or the RAM 1254 of system memory 1205. Such program modules may include an operating system providing graphics and sound APIs, one or more application programs, other program modules, program data and game data. A user may enter commands and information into personal computer system 1201 through input devices such as a keyboard 1227, pointing device 1229, microphones, joysticks, game controllers, satellite dishes, scanners, or the like. These and other input devices can be connected to processing unit 1203 through a serial port interface 1231 that is coupled to system bus 1207, but may be connected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, game port, Fire wire bus or a universal serial bus (USB). A monitor 1233 or other type of display device is also connected to system bus 1207 via an interface, such as a video adapter 1235.
System 1201 may also include a modem 1154 or other network interface means for establishing communications over a network 1152 such as the Internet. Modem 1154, which may be internal or external, is connected to system bus 123 via serial port interface 1231. A network interface 1156 may also be provided for allowing system 1201 to communicate with a remote computing device 1150 (e.g., another system 1201) via a local area network 1158 (or such communication may be via wide area network 1152 or other communications path such as dial-up or other communications means). System 1201 will typically include other peripheral output devices, such as printers and other standard peripheral devices.
In one example, video adapter 1235 may include a 3D graphics pipeline chip set providing fast 3D graphics rendering in response to 3D graphics commands issued based on a standard 3D graphics application programmer interface such as Microsoft's DirectX 7.0 or other version. A set of stereo loudspeakers 1237 is also connected to system bus 1207 via a sound generating interface such as a conventional “sound card” providing hardware and embedded software support for generating high quality stereophonic sound based on sound commands provided by bus 1207. These hardware capabilities allow system 1201 to provide sufficient graphics and sound speed performance to play software stored in storage medium 1305.
One or more speakers 1517 are connected to system bus 1507 via an audio interface 1519 to output sounds. A communication circuit 1521 is connected to system bus 1507 via a communications interface 1523 to permit communication with other devices. By way of illustration, communication circuit 1521 may, for example, be a modem and communications interface 1523 may be a serial port. Generally speaking, communication circuit 1521 may be configured for wired or wireless communication in accordance with any conventional communication protocol. A power supply 1525 provides power for the components of system 1201′.
As described in the foregoing, in the present invention, even if the level of the voltage supplied to a cartridge and an access manner thereto vary depending on the memory type therein, the memory in the cartridge is accessible by identifying the cartridge type and, according to a result obtained thereby, by switching the voltage level and an operation mode of central processing means.
When an information processing device or a game device, for example, is provided with a professor in which the number of bits for data processing is rather large, the data width of a connector may not wide enough. In the example systems, however, memory that has a number of data bits corresponding to the number of bits in the processor for data processing can be connected to a common bus. Further, when the information processing device or game device, for example, is provided with processors each having a different number of bits for data processing to retain compatibility of software, for example, memories each corresponding to those processors are connected to the common bus to be accessed.
The contents of any technical documents or patent documents referenced above are incorporated herein in their entirety.
While the invention has been described in detail, the foregoing description is in all aspects illustrative and not restrictive. It is understood that numerous other modifications and variations can be devised without departing from the scope of the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||463/43, 700/27, 700/23, 700/26|
|International Classification||A63F13/00, G06F9/455|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F13/00, A63F2300/206, A63F13/10, A63F2300/204, A63F13/08|
|European Classification||A63F13/08, A63F13/10|